Much to my husband’s chagrin, I’m that woman who shares TMI. Well, I’m sorry, but there are some things women don’t talk about so when something odd happens you are left to believe you are the only person on earth it is happening to. Well file this one under “shit women don’t really talk about.” (Honey, do not read on).
Case in point, why didn’t anyone tell me I would be wearing pads for at least a month after delivering a baby vaginally? I had one of my kids in the summer. So gross. No seriously. Why didn’t anyone tell or warn me? Apparently it’s just something we are supposed to figure out.
WHAT IS PERIMENOPAUSE?
Another thing nobody discusses is Perimenopause (the period of a woman’s life shortly before the occurrence of the menopause which can last 3 months – 10 years, but typically it’s about 2 years). It’s the time when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier. Perimenopause ends when a woman has gone 12 months without having her period and then she is in menopause.
One side effect of Perimenopause is super heavy periods. When I was done having kids and in my mid 40’s and my periods started getting worse, I thought I was dying. They were getting ridiculously heavy, painful and lasting longer. Picture Niagara Falls for 7 straight days and nights. I was going through boxes of tampons and pads per period and I felt more cramps and clots were coming out of me that were frightening. So I went to my OBGYN begging him to put me back on the pill when I learned I was, in fact, not dying. Truth is, I was just getting old – damn it! I’d do anything to make this horror show stop! I could not live this way.
My doctor didn’t want me to go back on the pill at my age because of the hormones and said I had two other options, well three. A hysterectomy, an ablation or live with it. A hysterectomy seemed a bit extreme and I had no idea what an ablation was. Living with it was NOT an option. So he went to explain a NovaSure Endometrial Ablation which he performs inbetween delivering babies to the young-ins.
WHY DO OUR PERIODS GET WORSE?
During a normal menstrual cycle when you are younger, the hormone estrogen is produced to stimulate the thickening of the lining of the womb. When the egg is released from the ovaries, they produce the hormone progesterone. So your periods are regular and not too heavy or light.
However, as you approach menopause, sometimes an egg is not released from the ovaries, although estrogen is still produced and there is not enough progesterone and the lining (or endometrium) is thickening – thickening more in fact which leads to ridiculously heavy periods.
WHAT IS NOVASURE ENDOMETRIAL ABLATION?
NovaSure endometrial ablation is a super quick, safe and simple procedure to lighten or stop your periods, without the side effects of hormones or the risks of hysterectomy. No pills. No hormonal side effects. The procedure has been chosen by over 2 million women – make that 2 million and one.
NovaSure endometrial ablation is a one-time, five-minute procedure that can be done in your doctor’s office, usually for the cost of a copay. For 90% of women, menstrual bleeding is dramatically reduced or stopped. The endometrium heals by scarring, which usually reduces or prevents uterine bleeding.
I had mine done in my doctor’s office and the whole entire visit took less than an hour. I was given a local anesthesia (my husband was driving) and I don’t remember a thing. I woke up a few minutes after it was done and that was it. I was told the actual ablation took about 5 minutes to perform.
Since I had my procedure done on a Friday I went straight home and climbed into bed. I had cramping the rest of the weekend and stayed mostly in said bed, but by Monday I felt fine. I had a bit of bleeding and discharge, but it wasn’t very much nor very scary.
I had the procedure done three months ago and I couldn’t be more thankful. I still have some clear discharge, which my doctor assures is just my lining shedding and will end soon. I have had a period which was…dare I say, delightful? I had some minor cramps and moodiness like I usually do, but this time my period was so light I was shocked. It lasted 3 days and I wore a liner. I only used a tampon when I went to the gym!
The doc says after 6 months I will be even happier. Hallelujah!
Find out more about NovaSure.
Dr. Clifford A. Goldstein, MD
Gendal & Kusnitz Obgyn
2001 Marcus Ave Ste 245
New Hyde Park, NY 11042