Mirena IUD or Uterine Ablation for Heavy Periods.

Updated on August 09, 2008
T.T. asks from El Mirage, AZ
7 answers

I am 27 years old and have had heavy long periods for years now. To go along with them I have horrible back cramping, and I am verrrry crabby. In the past year I have been having 2 periods a month. I had blood work done, my yearly check up and an ultrasound and have been diagnosed with Menorrhagia. (Menorrhagia is defined as unusually heavy or long-lasting menstrual periods.) I have gone to my Dr. several times and tryed many different pills, depo shots and patches. I have had tons of side effects and dont want to go that route any more. My husband was "clipped" 4 years ago, we are not giving birth to any more babys so my primary recomended uterine ablation. I saw the gyno. Dr. and he kept trying to push the Mirena IUD on me. He says the IUD will reduce my period flow and is less invasive. He also said the ablations need to be repeted in about 5 years. Now every thing Ive read says ablations are permenate. So Im confused on which method to use.

My question to any one out there is:

#1 How old are you?

#2 If you have had Mirena how soon have your periods lightned or stopped after getting it. Have you had any side affects? Would you recomend it to stop periods? (again i do not need it for birth controll)

#3 If you have had the ablation, which method was used on you? (I am cosidering Nova Sure or the Gynecare Thermachoice Balloon Therapy) Did your periods stop? Has your Dr. ever mentioned it having to be repeted in the future?

Thank you

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So What Happened?

I decided to go back to my primary Dr. and ask him what I should do. He recomended I see a different Gyno. Dr. and still recomends ablation for me. I have an apointment this month. I had the Nova Sure procedure done earlier this year... got a massive infection.. The procedure didnt work for me, I still had major bleeding after... In April I had my Historectomy.

More Answers



answers from Phoenix on

Hi! I had the Novasure procedure done in June. I was having the same problem. After my third child, my periods got really heavy and then I got them every 2 weeks. My husband has also been clipped and we are not having an more children. I have not had a period since the procedure was done! My Doctor said nothing about having to repeat it in 5 years. The only thing I STRONGLY recommend would be that you get it done in the hospital not the office. I did it in the office while I was awake and it was extremely painful. You can expect to be down (in bed on pain pills for about 24 hours) and you will have a watery discharge for a few months after. I only had a little blood on the day of the procedure and then nothing but water. I opted for this procedure because I di not want to take hormones. So in conclusion, get the ablation done. It is worth it to stop the periods and regain your life! I am so much happier to not be bleeding all the time. Hooray for technology, we should have the choice to stop it!


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answers from Phoenix on

Hi T.,
Ive had the nova sure ablation. It was done in Sept along with at the same time, I had my tubes tied. Ive had absolutely no periods, couldnt be happier. My aunt also had this done but in the dr's ofc. Mine was in the hosp of course since I was doing the tube tying thing also. But she had some cramping after wards but it has been a success also. My OB dr who I trust never said anything about repeating it. As far as I know, its permanant.
So I have nothing but good things to say about the ablation.
Good luck!!



answers from Phoenix on

The ablation is the best thing I've done. I have absolutely no regrets. I spoke to several people before and have since met many after and everyone is as happy as I.
It's been 1 1/2 yrs since I had it done. I think it was the Nova Sure procedure. Any way it was an electrical wand that expands open like spreding your hand open and it touches every little nook and cranny of the uterus. The electricty burns the soft tissue. If any place is missed than you will have some blood.
My trainer had this done 6yrs ago (I think the Balloon method) and a spot was obviously missed because she gets a little drop of light pink blood every month.
I have not had a drop.
The procedure was extremely simple and absolutely pain free!!
I remember the nurse waking me from anesthesia and asking what my pain level from 1-10 was and I responded,"0"
The worse part for me was trying to walk from the car to the house while still having anesthesia in my system and I almost fainted. I Think my husband carried me. Around 11pm that evening I think all that finally wore off and I felt like a million bucks.
You do have to wear a pad for the following month after the procedure because of the damaged tissue that your body expels.
My good friend (46 yrs old)whom has had the ablation about 3 yrs ago just found out from her dr. that her period has stopped.But because she had the ablation she went through menopause and didnt even know it. She does have hot flashes though.
I have never heard that the procedure needs to be repeated if it was successfully done the first time.
I did ask my Dr. if she could think of anything at all that could happen down-the-road in the future by having this ablation and she thought about it and said maybe scar tissue could be a factor in some people. And one of the first signs of ovarian cancer is bleeding but because you dont bleed your dr. would have to check very throughly for this.
I had severe very heavy and painful periods and would recommend this to any woman who's closer to 40 and is 100% certain she doesnt want anymore children.
Good luck



answers from Phoenix on

Have you had any sort of testing to rule out other diagnoses? Like an ultra sound or a CT scan? I'm a nurse on the cancer unit, and not to say that you're having symptoms of cancer, but people often overlook abnormal symptoms, which end up being something different than what they thought they had, or even what the doctors thought they had. All I'm saying is that I would look deeper into this abnormality before accepting that it's a dysfunctional period.

That being said, I have the Mirena. After the first couple months of on and off LIGHT spotting, I have only had one period in the past 7 months. My only complaints are that the first few months of spotting were annoying (but tolerable), and that I had mild acne for the first 4 months or so. I had normal periods prior to the Mirena though.



answers from Phoenix on

I don't have any experience with any birth control for stopping periods. I have never had ablation done. I have had friends that had it done with no success.
The reason I responded to you was your condition sounds like it could be a bleeding disorder. I am part of a bleeding disorders group and the most common symptom for women is prolonged periods. Before you go through with either option above you should be checked by a Hemotologist for von Willebrand Disease (vWD). It is the most commonly-known bleeding disorder and affects males and females equally. It is estimated that 60 to 120 million people world wide have vWD. It is also sometimes hard to diagnois. You need to go to a good hemotologist and ask if they know anything about vWD and ask to be tested for that specifically. The doctors to go to are associatied with Hemophilia Treatment Centers. If you copy and past the following link it will take you to the National Hemophilia Foundation website for bleeding and clotting disorders. http://www.hemophilia.org/NHFWeb/MainPgs/MainNHF.aspx?men...
Usually, people with VWD bruise easily, have recurrent nosebleeds, or bleed after tooth extraction, tonsillectomy or other surgery. Recurrent nosebleeds are also a hallmark of VWD. Women can have increased menstrual bleeding.

Look back in your family history and look back to your childhood and see if anything fits with this discription. vWD is widely misdiagnoised. I don't have vWD but am a symptomatic carrier of hemophilia (my son has hemophilia) so I bleed a lot like women with vWD. I don't want you to be freaked out because it is controlable and an IUD or ablation might be the way to go but it would be a good idea to find out why you bleed like you do first. You should find out for your daughter's sake because it is a genetic disorder and if you have it there is a good chance they have it too. If you want to contact me, my name is Elizabeth and my email is [email protected]____.com. I would love to talk to you more.
Good Luck, Elizabeth P.



answers from Austin on

I'm sorry to hear you are having such difficult periods. Have you had an ultrasound of your uterus? I had heavy periods and intolerable pain as well. They found out that I had fibroid (non-cancerous) tumors. The heavy periods were due to the location of some of the fibroids and the pain was due to the location of other fibroids. Because of the location of certain fibroids, I was not a candidate for ablation. Make sure you have all the information. If you need a 2nd opinion, my OB-Gyn is amazing. She takes all the time you need and explains everything very well in addition to giving me pamphlets to read later to absorb all the info. She even drew a picture of my uterus to explain where the fibroids were and why I had my symptoms. Her name is Dr. Maria Apigo. You can look her up online or let me know and I can give you her info.



answers from Phoenix on

I was in the same perdicament, long, heavy and painful periods. I have the mirena iud and i love it. I got it in April, and by May, my period was down to just spotting a few days (2). The only side effect I have, is right before I spot, I do have some discomfort, like a cramp. It doesn't last long. I am very happy I got it. It only took less than 10 min to place and went with no problems, just a small amount of pressure when being placed. So I hope I help out, good luck
A. M