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  1. #1

    Default Ways to end period permanently?

    If anyone has any input on endometrial ablation (Novasure/other procedure), or any other recommended methods for preventing or ending periods all together I would appreciate it.

    I'm 38, have absolutely no interest in having children, and really don't see the point of dealing with all of the aggravation and associated problems of having a period for another 5-10 years.

    I've been on birth control for years, but have had problems finding one that will work well. The one I'm on currently isn't strong enough as I'm having my period early every month. I get bad melasma on any pill I try, so the lower the dosage of hormones the better, but then the pill doesn't control my period.

    If I'm off the pill, then I get bad cramps, upset stomach and the joy of having a period earlier and earlier each month. And the PMS is wonderful as well.

    Ugh. I'd like to go in to my annual visit next month with some ideas so I can discuss them with the doctor, so please let me know your experiences/suggestions.

    When I went in last year, the Gyn recommended an IUD, but it will cost over $850. Not something I can afford, especially without knowing if it will work for me or not.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2011
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    219

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    Not sure on the costs of ablation, but I have several friends who have had it done, and they are thrilled with the results.



  3. #3
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    Feb. 16, 2007
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    My very own sliver of heaven.
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    I was going to recommend the Mirena IUD, but then I saw the last paragraph of your post :-/ Is it that your insurance won't cover it? You might be able to fight that one. If it's a lack of health insurance, the Novalsure is far more expensive as I understand.

    I'm on year 5 of my first Mirena and I have had exactly one day of "spotting" (I don't even know if it could qualify as spotting there was so little there) in those 5 years. I will have a new one put in the same day that this one is removed. I was diagnosed with stage III endometriosis when I was just 13 years old and have been on some form of birth control ever since to manage the debilitating symptoms of the disease. Unfortunately, I had a stroke at 19 (completely unrelated to the BC), so no more estrogen for me. Eventually the Mirena became widely available and I've never looked back. I've not experienced a single side effect and the only time I've had a complaint was when I was in a new relationship with a man who was...erm, blessed, shall we say? And caused a lot of shifting. I got used to it pretty quickly and have not had an issue since, but it was not exactly pleasant on the outset.

    If you can swing it or get your doctor to write a letter to your insurance company, this might be your best bet.

    Good luck!
    Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
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    7,069

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    What pill are you on? I'm on Loestrin24Fe and haven't had a true period in the six years I've been on it. My ob/gyn said that's typically (and totally fine) for this pill.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2001
    Location
    Purcellville, VA
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    5,957

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    I had Novasure in Jan. 2009, since I did it as an office-visit procedure (that HURT a LOT) it was only the $40 co-pay, but there were copays for all the screenings, ultrasound to check for polyps, something to check for uterine cancer, etc.

    Yet insurance wouldn't cover the BC to attempt to control the bleeding...go USA and women's health care! NOT

    Anyway, it doesn't work for everyone, but once everything healed, and there was a solid 5-6 weeks of needing some clothing protection, I haven't had a single period. So, I'm over 3 years now.

    It is convenient, but you stil are ovulating and have all the same hormonal issues (or not) that you had before, you just don't have the period.

    There are a few bulletin boards that are devoted to women's health that provide a lot more information than COTH, even on OT day.

    I recommend those, since the COTH membership often gets squeamish on these topics.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. An IUD is not covered by my insurance at all. I checked with Planned Parenthood last year as well when I found out how much the quote was from my regular GYN, and PP was over $500, if I remember correctly.

    I definitely can't afford even the cheaper PP price, especially since I have no idea if it would work for me without any issues.

    I've been told that the cramping would be pretty much non-existent after an endometrial ablation, since there will be little to be expelled.

    I willing to deal with the PMS and hormone fluctuations if I can at least get rid of the melasma and cramps!

    I did try the Loestrin24fe last year, and liked it a lot, but it of course is not covered by my insurance. I got the discount card from the manufacturer, so it was $25/month, but when the card expired it was $58/month!! My melasma was still really bad on it as well, although my periods were pretty non-existent in a very good way. I'm on the generic version of the regular Loestrin now, and it's not working well at all.

    It does sound like the Novasure will be the cost of the office visit, but of course I will be checking with the insurance company to see what else I may have to pay for in addition to the procedure.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2012
    Posts
    51

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaddleFitterVA View Post
    I had Novasure in Jan. 2009, since I did it as an office-visit procedure (that HURT a LOT) it was only the $40 co-pay, but there were copays for all the screenings, ultrasound to check for polyps, something to check for uterine cancer, etc.

    Yet insurance wouldn't cover the BC to attempt to control the bleeding...go USA and women's health care! NOT

    Anyway, it doesn't work for everyone, but once everything healed, and there was a solid 5-6 weeks of needing some clothing protection, I haven't had a single period. So, I'm over 3 years now.

    It is convenient, but you stil are ovulating and have all the same hormonal issues (or not) that you had before, you just don't have the period.

    There are a few bulletin boards that are devoted to women's health that provide a lot more information than COTH, even on OT day.

    I recommend those, since the COTH membership often gets squeamish on these topics.
    I'm 29 but have no plans to have children (husband got vasectomy last year) and was hoping to ask about Novasure next month at my annual. You say it hurt? I am a big, fat, no-pain-tolerance-baby and this scares me! Is the pain normal?? (Not trying to hijack your thread OP!)



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    667

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    Trust me, it's worth the hijack to ask THAT important question!!!

    I read that they do a local anesthetic beforehand, so by all means if that wasn't enough let us all know!

    I'd love to hear more info on the ablation procedure as well, since I've been seeing those Novasure ads all over the TV. My sister-in-law is an OB/GYN so I'll ask her what she thinks about it, but the more first-hand experiences to hear about the better.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2012
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cammie View Post
    Trust me, it's worth the hijack to ask THAT important question!!!

    I read that they do a local anesthetic beforehand, so by all means if that wasn't enough let us all know!
    Thank you.

    Where's the xanax?!?!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
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    7,069

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlternatingName View Post
    I did try the Loestrin24fe last year, and liked it a lot, but it of course is not covered by my insurance. I got the discount card from the manufacturer, so it was $25/month, but when the card expired it was $58/month!! My melasma was still really bad on it as well, although my periods were pretty non-existent in a very good way. I'm on the generic version of the regular Loestrin now, and it's not working well at all.
    Once the card expires, you can call the manufacturer and they'll send you another card. (Or at least they did for me.)

    (Although right now, I haven't met my insurance deductible for the year yet so I'm paying $48 per month for it even with the card. Stupid insurance.)



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2004
    Location
    PA
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    6,872

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    I had an ablation done about two years ago as out-patient surgery in my local hospital. My doctor put me under, so there wasn't any pain. I had cramping at the end of the procedure and for that evening, but I was 95% by the following day and just fine after.

    My insurance covered it because I had been having frequent, long periods, lots of cramping and had been to my gyno for it for it a couple of times. She told them it was necessary, and they paid for it.

    I've been happy with my results. My doctor told me she had an 85% success rate, and I fell into the success category. No periods, I do still have 'symptoms' of cycling, in terms of occasional minor cramping, bloating, but the long, heavy periods are gone. I must have been about 44 or 45 when I had it done - with two children on the ground, my child bearing years were clearly behind me.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2006
    Location
    Seattle area
    Posts
    77

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    I had an ablation (done under a local) 6 years ago and I wish I'd done it sooner. Horrible cramping and bleeding gone! Can't recommend this procedure highly enough!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2004
    Posts
    2,355

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    I have a friend who had it done about 6 or 7yrs ago..give or take.. She is now haveing everything removed.. Her periods came back with a VEANGANCE. cramping, heavier, bloating etc the whole nine yards. she is now getting overies, uterus removed...

    I chose not to have that particular procedure done and just went with the transvagional hysterctomy. that is as soon as I could convince a dr that yes it is really what I wanted no I really do not want any more children, NO it really is in my best intrest that I do not have any more yadda yadd.. normal recovery time 6 days... I however had some intesting complications jst because my particular body and its own little problems...
    Now it took me 18 years to convince a dr to give me my hyster. Why BECAUSE I have govt. run insurance yeah good ol military dept insurance.. where they expect you while your with in child bearing years to actually bear those children... to a certian point of course...diffrent topic diffrent thread.. not going to hyjack this one..
    I would sugest if you realy want to never have another preiod, never have the risk, etc.. have a trasvaginal hyster. If you dont want to go into full menapause leave one or two of your overies. I chose to have both removed becaue I become very female doggish during ovulation just ask any hman or dog for that matter who happens to have been around me at that time of month... And they suspect i had actually been trying to go into menapase for nearly 26yrs to begin with but body never got the hang of it.. but I tell ya what the hormones Im on low does but for the first time in almost 26 yrs I am no longer drenching my sheets at night with sweat.. YEA!!!!! for that alone for me it was worth it.. hated having to get up in middle of night 2 or 3 times in middle of night to change sheets then wash them..

    but that is what I would do..
    Friend of bar .ka



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2002
    Posts
    1,012

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    I was on Depo shots for 10 years ,and it stopped my period completely.yay! I have since come off it as I am older ,and have no need for it,except to stop the stupid periods,and it has come back. but a shot every 3 months versus a period every month,heck yes!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
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    14,867

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlternatingName View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions so far. An IUD is not covered by my insurance at all. I checked with Planned Parenthood last year as well when I found out how much the quote was from my regular GYN, and PP was over $500, if I remember correctly.

    I definitely can't afford even the cheaper PP price, especially since I have no idea if it would work for me without any issues.

    I've been told that the cramping would be pretty much non-existent after an endometrial ablation, since there will be little to be expelled.

    I willing to deal with the PMS and hormone fluctuations if I can at least get rid of the melasma and cramps!

    I did try the Loestrin24fe last year, and liked it a lot, but it of course is not covered by my insurance. I got the discount card from the manufacturer, so it was $25/month, but when the card expired it was $58/month!! My melasma was still really bad on it as well, although my periods were pretty non-existent in a very good way. I'm on the generic version of the regular Loestrin now, and it's not working well at all.

    It does sound like the Novasure will be the cost of the office visit, but of course I will be checking with the insurance company to see what else I may have to pay for in addition to the procedure.
    That's a lot to gamble. My younger daughter just had her Merina removed after 2 months of problems with it, continual heavy bleeding and major headaches.
    I wasn't always a Smurf
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2002
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    2,384

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    I stopped my heavy, painful periods completely with Depo Provera shots. Can't do the Pill as I have high blood pressure.

    Life on Depo is wonderful, BUT I am concerned about reports of early osteoporosis. Not good to ride horses and have weak bones! For now I'm taking calcium & doing a lot of weight bearing exercise, but next year I intend to convince my gyn to convince my insurance I need bone scan testing. I'm not doing Depo for bc, purely for my health (yeah, go american health care covg for women I get read every day what a slut I am, needing BC)

    If the bone scan looks good I'll stay on Depo but if my bones are losing strength I'll have to look at other options. Either the ablation or the hysterectomy. Hoping I can stay on the Depo until menopause hits - shouldn't be longer than 5-10 yrs for me.

    I give the shot to myself in the shoulder - people look at the big needle turn pale and ask how can I? I laugh and remember the days of agony I went through before Depo - one needle every 3 mos is NOTHING.



  17. #17
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    Apr. 4, 2010
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    yonder a bit, GA
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    3,744

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    I think the mirena or other iud is well worth the cost if you look at it across a length of time. There is the risk that it won't completely stop your periods, but if it does... The cost difference would be well worth it imo.
    Say you keep the mirena for 5 years. That's 60 months. At a cost of $850 initially is a monthly equivalent of $14.17 at 5 years. That's really hard to beat! To me, that's worth the risk that it may not be the method for me and i may not use it. Worth trying out!
    I'm also surprised your insurance won't cover it if there are medical reasons why you may need it!



  18. #18
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    Apr. 4, 2010
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    yonder a bit, GA
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    @Arcadian, I'm impressed with the self administration! I'm on depo and have considered making MrB give me the injection (he has to give himself shots often) and i do already pick up the meds from the pharmacy on my own... But my doctors office is strange and id have issues if I ever wanted them to administer it another time. Their policy is pretty strict- you are due for the next shot after 12weeks. If you go longer than that week overdue, you have to come in for a pregnancy test, then abstain for two weeks, come back in for a second preg test and then you can get the shot.
    That being said, i was unable to make an appointment with them right before leaving town in Jan, so I went to my local clinic instead. They just gave me a pregnancy test and then administered the shot. I will have to send those records back to my gyno office if I'd like to go there next time.

    That was my first shot of the third year on the depo, and I'm also concerned about bone density, too. I may have to look into switching it up with a different method, but I'm REALLY hoping I can stay on it for a bit longer, it's been the best method i've tried.

    How long have you been on it? Will a bone scan show the necessary information, or would you have to have had one years ago when you started the depo to compare the rate of loss?
    Last edited by bits619; Mar. 18, 2012 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Predictive text throwing in extra words



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 1999
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    Just Enough Farm, GA
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    2,263

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    I had the Mirena for 5 years with okay results, but some complications that made me not want to go that route again. So I had an ablation. Mine was done as out patient surgery so no pain except cramping for a day or so after.

    Unfortunately my ablation was not a success and within 2 years I was back to having periods and the cramps were way worse than ever before. I had a laproscopic hysterectomy in November (removed uterus, left ovaries) and life is very, very good. The hysterectomy required an overnight stay at the hospital and about ten days for discomfort. I was cleared to ride after a month and haven't looked back. I wish I had done it years ago.
    If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb




  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2009
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    Endometrial ablation will not stop the menstruating aspect of your cycle forever.

    There are 2 points to your problem: One you don't like the inconvenience and mess of monthly bleeding along with the cramping, and the second is your PMS which is only to do with your ovaries.

    Seriously, for a healthy woman, endometrial ablation is far more distruptive than 4-7 days of bleeding. Ablation is usually done for women who have massive hemorrhaging with each cycle to the point where it causes them to be very anemic, some requiring blood transfusions, or where the women suffers bleeding for weeks and weeks at a time thus their bleeding is literally turning their lives upside down already and causing massive disruption.

    Endometrial ablation burns the lining of your uterus, but may or may not be entirely successful burning off the entire thing. You will be required to take a drug beforehand, Lupron, which will really mess up your hormones for a while, but it causes the lining of your uterus to not grow very much, therefore, less for the surgeon has less to burn off. There is little to no bleeding the first month after the ablation, but since the uterus is a highly vascular structure, it tends to heal rather readily. After 3 or 4 months, some menstruation volume will resume and as one other lady mentioned within a couple years you're right back to square one. The procedure itself is very disruptive to the patient's life until healed. No horseback riding, no lifting of objects, no extreme physical exercise, no intercourse for several weeks, no insertion of tampons and the like for many weeks.

    The only way to stop menstruating permanently is a hysterectomy which removes your uterus, but leaves your ovaries behind. VERY few doctors are willing to give a perfectly healthy woman an ablation, let alone a hysterectomy, and especially not a hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy (ovary removal).

    Neither a hysterectomy or endometrial ablation will solve the PMS. Your ovaries are still functioning as normal and therefore you will still get the hormonal fluctuations that come with that. As you move into your 40's the hormones will become more erratic

    To me, it sounds like your PMS and the menstrual cramps bother you more than anything else. This is a hormone problem and should be dealt with by an endocrinologist-gynecologist.

    Our gynecologists would recommend to you the Mirena IUD as it contains a slow-release medication in the device. Not only is it an effective birth control device, but it usually helps with the hormonal problems, and for a lot of women decreases amount of flow. Note that for the first 1-2 months some women experience increased cramping, but this usually settles. While it's expensive up-front, the cost of monthly low-estrogen release pills add up to about the same cost over the course of a year, so it's about 6 of one and half-dozen of the other.

    You can also get your doctor to inject you with progesterone-only. It lasts 2-3 months depending on the type of injection. Some women experience pregnancy symptoms on this at first with decreased to stopped menstruation and usually removes cramping issues. Some develop excessive yeast problems on this, but this can be controlled with taking daily high-dose acidophilus capsules, 2-3 a day (yogurt alone is not a high enough dose of acidophilus). Additionally, when some women have stopped getting the injections, and even while their cycles normalize again, the cramping continues to be absent - usually permanently. This has been a good choice for physicians with teenage girls who suffer severe cramping as it tends to cure that aspect of the problem, not 100% but a goodly majority of cases.

    I doubt very much your gynecologist will recommend surgery of any type for you, unless there is more to your story than you've been able to state on a public forum.
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