Today was the big day! My NovaSure procedure took place this morning. I’m obviously alive and kind of kicking, so it couldn’t have been that bad. I am forcing myself to write about my experience before I head off to bed so I don’t forget little bits and pieces. Don’t continue reading if you don’t want specific information about this gynecological procedure.
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Yesterday afternoon, I arrived at the office for Laminaria insertion to dilate my cervix. What’s Laminaria? Seaweed. Yeah, I thought my doctor was lying too when he said that at the previous appointment. Turns out it’s incredible when it comes to dilation. When I was induced with BigBrother in 2005, my doctor used Cervadil. New doctor laughed and said, “Anyone who uses Cervadil nowadays is stupid.” Good to know. Seaweed is where it’s at.
Also? It looks like a rolled cigarette with a tampon string.
I left the office yesterday a bit crampy and remained that way throughout the night. I was allowed to eat a light breakfast this morning before I arrived at my doctor’s office at 9:00am with my medications (Valium and Vicodin) in my bag.
They set me up in the procedure room almost immediately. I took one Valium and one Vicodin. The nurse then gave me the longest shot of Toradol ever. Really. She said, “This is going to be the longest shot ever; there’s a lot of medicine in here!” I laughed. She wasn’t lying. That shot took forever! Then I sat down with the book I’m reading, my phone and, well, got a bit punch drunk. But it wasn’t really punch drunk, was it? When the doctor finally came in to start the procedure, he laughed at me. Most people just get relaxed and sleepy. I was smiley. Figures.
The procedure was pretty straight forward. The doctor used this kit:
And this machine:
And inserted a wand into my uterus and effectively radio-waved my uterine lining. Of course, that’s the information you can read in the brochure. So, how did it feel?
For those who have experienced labor, it felt like a medium-sized contraction that lasted for 90-seconds. Meaning that when it started, I thought, “Oh, well, this is totally tolerable.” And, by the end I was thinking, “Okay, I’m totally ready for this to be over.” It was uncomfortable and, yes, it hurt but no more than that medium sized contraction. My doctor looked at me, as I tried to find that happy breathing place reserved only for these specific kind of pains and said, “We’re about halfway done, do you want me to stop?” I said, “If you’re halfway done, then no!” More laughter. I figure if I am able to laugh through it, the pain isn’t really that bad.
If you haven’t experienced labor, I would compare it to a severe period cramp for 90 seconds. Which, if you’ve had cycles like mine, you know that severe period cramps can last for much longer than 90 seconds, so it really should be no big deal. Right? I would compare it to the kind of period cramps that make you curl up in the fetal position, the kind that make you want to put counter-pressure to make the pain go away. The best part is, of course, you know that it will end — unlike a period cramp. Win.
As soon as he retracted the wand and removed everything, the severity of the cramping started to alleviate. I was left with what I’d call a dull aching cramp. The doctor gave me instructions — no running for (only!!) two days, take the anaprox for another few days, rest — and my husband some instructions — call if I started to vomit, if anything seemed abnormal. The nurse helped me sit up, made sure everything was as it should be. I got dressed, my husband helped me out of the exam room. I made my two week follow up appointment. He helped me to the car. I slept the whole way home — an hour drive — and until nearly 4:00pm, which is when the initial pain medication wore off.
Now, don’t get me wrong: the pain wasn’t as bad as the procedure or a horrible period cramp or even early labor. It just didn’t feel good. I took some medicine and made myself go rest some more. Then I felt better and walked the dog — which was a bad choice. I should have stayed on the couch and I learned that the hard way. I was achy and woozy and a bit dizzy after that dog walk. I’ve remained on the couch the rest of the evening and am now feeling better. I’m trying to be a good patient. I don’t sit still very well.
I have had some light pink discharge, one random clot. At nearly 11:00pm, my cramping is quite dull, though I’m taking my heating pad to bed with me. I am taking tomorrow morning off from work mainly to make up for the Vicodin hangover, but have plans to get back to my normal life with work, a birthday party and a football game. (Though, if I’m tired, I may bow out of the football game.)
I won’t know how the procedure has truly changed my cycle — and my life — for a few months, but I will say this if you are considering the procedure: Don’t let the pain factor deter you. If you choose the cheaper, quicker method of in-office, it’s hardly worse than a pap smear. And if you don’t handle those well, you can choose a hospital procedure and be knocked out. (I hate general anesthesia, so I really preferred this method!)
I’ll update you after my two week follow up appointment as to how things are going! If you’re in South Eastern Ohio and considering the procedure, I must recommend Dr. Stanley in Marietta. Not many doctors in the area perform NovaSure; he does and he’s awesome. The staff also was caring and kind. Love that office!