What is menorrhagia?

Menorrhagia is defined as unusually heavy and/or long-lasting menstrual periods. If your period lasts a long time, or is so heavy that you need to change pads or tampons every 1 to 2 hours, then you may have menorrhagia.

Menorrhagia is more than just a problem with bleeding. It can have very disruptive effects on your family and social life, regular daily activities, and your mood.

How common is menorrhagia?

Menorrhagia occurs in 1 out of every 5 women. An estimated 10 million women suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding, yet only 2.5 million seek treatment each year. The reason for this is that many women are embarrassed to discuss their periods; they think their bleeding is normal because it has always been that way, or they are afraid of the treatment options.

Heavy bleeding is a problem for many women at different stages of their lives, including women who have had a tubal ligation (had their “tubes tied”), women who have been prescribed hormones and have stopped taking them, or women approaching menopause. These events may cause changes in a woman’s bleeding. Your doctor can help you determine whether you may be suffering from menorrhagia. Talking with your doctor can bring you one step closer to relief.

What are the effects of menorrhagia?


  • Heavy periods that last more than a few days

  • Heavy bleeding that requires double protection or changing protection every 1 to 2 hours

  • Large blood clots

  • Bad cramping

  • Fatigue or extreme tiredness

  • Anemia

  • Headaches

  • Nausea


  • More than 60% have had to miss social or athletic events

  • About 80% avoid sexual activities

  • 33% have been forced to miss work


  • 77% have depression or moodiness

  • 75% feel anxious

  • 57% feel a lack of confidence

What is NovaSure®?

NovaSure® is an endometrial ablation (EA) procedure that provides a solution to heavy periods. NovaSure® is also a minimally invasive outpatient treatment alternative to hysterectomy and a choice that avoids the potential side effects of hormone therapy. NovaSure® delivers 90 seconds of precisely controlled radio frequency energy through a thin handheld wand to remove (ablate) the lining of the uterus (endometrium). This is why it is called an EA procedure.

The NovaSure® procedure is quick and simple. It can be done without general anesthesia in the doctor’s office or an outpatient setting. After the NovaSure® procedure, 97% of patients do not experience pain. It is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require incisions and can typically be done in less that 5 minutes, which is less time than any other EA procedure. Also, unlike other EA procedures, NovaSure® can be done at any time during the menstrual cycle and does not require that you receive hormonal pretreatment. Patients can go home the same day and are back to work in 1 or 2 days.

How does NovaSure® work?

The NovaSure® procedure can reduce or eliminate future menstrual bleeding by permanently removing the lining of the uterus through the quick delivery of radio frequency energy.

After slightly dilating your cervix and inserting a slender wand, your doctor will extend a triangular mesh device into your uterus. The mesh device gently expands, conforming to the dimensions of your uterine cavity. Precisely measured radio frequency energy is delivered through the mesh for approximately 90 seconds. The mesh device is retracted back into the wand and both are removed from your uterus.

No part of the NovaSure device remains inside your body after the procedure.

What can I expect from NovaSure®?

Most women see a great decrease in their level of menstrual bleeding. In a clinical study of NovaSure®, 77.7% of women reported normal bleeding or less, and 41% reported no bleeding at all. Many women also had a significant reduction in painful periods and PMS symptoms such as irritability.

Before treatment with NovaSure®, most women experienced problems such as feeling anxious, a lack of confidence, difficulty with work or daily activities, and a lack of energy. After treatment, significantly fewer women complained of these symptoms.

Are women satisfied with NovaSure®?

Twelve months after NovaSure®, 93% of patients were satisfied with the results, and 97% said they would recommend NovaSure® to a friend.

Nearly 7 out of every 10 EAs are NovaSure® procedures, making NovaSure® the menorrhagia treatment most preferred by physicians and patients alike.

Could the NovaSure® procedure be right for me?

Women with menorrhagia who are finished having children may be candidates for the NovaSure® procedure. Your physician may perform diagnostic tests to be sure that there is no other cause for the heavy periods. Your Pap test and endometrial (lining) biopsy must be normal.

Can I still become pregnant after the NovaSure® procedure?

There is still a small chance of becoming pregnant, so it is necessary to use some form of birth control after your NovaSure® procedure. Pregnancy may be dangerous for mother and child after any EA treatment.

Safety and Risks

After EA with NovaSure®, you may feel some cramping and pain; this is normal. In most cases it may last for a few hours. You may have watery and/or bloody discharge after your NovaSure® procedure. It could start anywhere from immediately after the procedure to a couple of weeks afterwards. The discharge might last only briefly or continue for up to a couple of months. It could even come and go, and may increase after certain activities. This is quite normal and can be expected with any EA procedure.

Your doctor will explain the risks of all treatment options. Some of the risks associated with EA procedures are making a hole in the uterus, bleeding, infection, or injury to organs within the stomach or around the uterus. These problems are very rare.

Tell your doctor if you have a cardiac pacemaker of any other electrical device in your body.

You should call your physician if you develop a fever higher than 100.4°F, worsening pelvic pain that is not relieved by ibuprofen or other prescribed medication, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, dizziness, bowel or bladder problems, and/or a greenish vaginal discharge.


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