In other words, if you are easily offended or uncomfortable listening about about a girl’s girl parts, now is the time to click somewhere else.
Now, with that out of the way, I thought I would share my recent experience in the case someone else is looking for information to make an informed decision. After the birth of my daughter, in this blog she is known as Podling, I started to bleed. A lot. Every month. As any woman with a baby knows, after birth there is a lot of grossness for approximately 6 weeks or so. It can also take a few months of a “normal” cycle to get things back in line. When Podling was born, it never got back in line. I would just hemorrhage for about 3 days every month. I literally couldn’t leave the house without worrying about bleeding all over my clothes, the car seat…what have you. Eventually I just stopped going out when it was that time.
For those of you not in the know, in a typical cycle you can change pads about once or twice an hour give or take depending on your “flow”. I was changing every 15 minutes, sometimes more often…and I was using the latest Always Infinity Overnight pads that absorbed 10+ times the amount a normal pad does. There were times I would wake up in the morning and before I could get from bed to toilet I was already covered in blood. TMI yet? 🙂
I went to my trusty GYN who told me that this wasn’t unheard of. Having kids can throw your body chemistry way, way off and occasionally the body can’t get back in sync. I go on a round of hormone pills similar to a low dose birth control pill. It half worked while I was on them and thought that would fix it. After I went off the pills the issue came back. Doc talked about putting me back on the pills again, but I am lucky enough to be one of the rare few who experience side effects of hormone pills. This is where we opted for a more permanent solution and decided on what is called an endometrial ablation.
An endometrial ablation is where they scar the inside of the uterus. This prevents the lining from building up and sloughing off. It is used for cases like mine with excessive bleeding as well as to treat endometriosis. This is the last step before a total hysterectomy. The good thing is this is an out patient procedure…some docs even do it in the office. There are a couple of ways they can do this. One way is with some kind of laser, they can also use boiling saline. What they did for mine was a mesh that was put in the uterus and electrified (it is officially called Novasure…I guess that is the name of the little mesh thing they use). This burns the lining and scars it. 60% of people never bleed again. 40% do, of those 40% there is a very small percentage that have complications that require a hysterectomy. It goes without saying that this is only an option if you plan on not having more children.
Here is how it went down for me:
I had to have a shot of Lupron before the procedure. Lupron apparently puts you in a state of temporary menopause…this means that it will thin the lining of the uterus. This is important since they are scaring the inside, they don’t want it real thick else it won’t work properly. Six weeks after the shot I have to have the procedure. One of the side effects of the shot is, obviously, menopause symptoms. It disrupts hormones that would normally be there so I was warned I could experience anywhere from no menopause symptoms to severe. Luckily I only had severe symptoms for about 3 days. I was just angry…I made sure to keep away from everyone as much as possible during those times for everyone’s sake.
December 2012 was the time for the procedure. After the usual pre-op testing, I went in and had them put in the IV, put the gown and cap on and waited. I was given a dose of Versed which pretty much knocked me out before I could even get back to the O/R. The next thing I know I am awake in recovery, but in some pain. The pain, for me, was akin to being pregnant and having a full bladder during an ultrasound. It was painful but not really unbearable. Please keep in mind though I did have a lot of drugs in me at that point from being put to sleep. My husband told me that it didn’t take long at all…he went to the cafeteria to get something to eat and as soon as he sat down he was being called saying I was out.
I had to stay in the hospital until I could empty my bladder. I am not sure how long that was but I was home about 5 or so I think that evening. My surgery was around noon if that give any indication of time. I was in some pain when I got home, but it was cramping pretty good. Doc gave me some pain meds that worked really well. I only had to take them for a couple of nights (for the record, I only take a quarter of a pill, I am a lightweight when it comes to pain killers).
At the time of this post, it has been almost weeks. I haven’t had a period since December before my ablation and I should have “technically”. Apparently I am one of the 60% though Doc did tell me it may take 6 months for my body to fully adjust. By then whatever is happening (or not happening) it the way it is going to be.
The scariest part for me was being put to sleep. While I have been through worse surgery (2 c-sections) I have never been put to sleep before. Turns out I was asleep before they put me to sleep because of the Versed!
Anywho, that is my experience for what it is worth. If anyone comes here looking for information on it there it is. Hope it helps!