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What Are the Benefits of NovaSure®?

By Jillian O Keeffe
Updated May 17, 2024
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The medical procedure NovaSure® is an alternative to treatments such as hysterectomy for women who have heavy menstrual periods. It is performed only once, takes a short time and is effective in about 90 percent of patients. NovaSure® patients do not need to take pills or hormones after the procedure, so in the long run, it might be more practical than other treatments.

NovaSure® is a uterine ablation procedure to remove the lining of the uterus that causes menstrual bleeding. It can be performed in a doctor's office. The doctor inserts the NovaSure® device into the uterus through the vagina.

The device releases electrical energy that breaks down the endometrial lining of the uterus and the underlying layer of cells. The procedure takes only about five minutes, and most women do not feel much pain during this time. Normal activity can be resumed after a day or two of rest. Women might experience discharge after the procedure and menstrual periods, if present, can take several months to settle into a regular pattern. After the procedure, about 90 percent of patients have either no menstrual bleeding or a reduced level of bleeding.

NovaSure® is not a surgical procedure like a hysterectomy, so there is no risk from general anesthesia or from surgical wound infections. It does carry a small risk of perforating the uterus, an infection or damaging tissue apart from uterine tissue. Infection also has the potential to lead to blood poisoning and the risk of death.

Although NovaSure® has permanent beneficial effects on the level of menstrual bleeding, the removal of the uterine lining also means that pregnancy is not supported properly by the uterus. The technique does not prevent conception, and it is not recommended for women who want to have children. Pregnancy after the procedure is dangerous for both mother and fetus, so a woman and her partner still have to use contraception. Dilatation and curettage, more commonly known as a D&C, might be a more suitable procedure for a woman who wants to retain her fertility.

A major advantage to NovaSure® is that the patient does not have to take pills or hormones to control her menstrual cycle or hormone level. Hormones or pills can have side effects. This type of treatment also is usually long-term, and women have to remember to take the hormones regularly. The procedure is most suitable for women who do not want to have more children and who suffer from heavy periods without any severe underlying causes.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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