Menorrhagia is a debilitating condition that many women don't have to endure. It's excessive menstrual bleeding.
Now a procedure performed inside a doctor's office can take care of it for good.
Excessive blood loss leads to anemia, which leaves you tired. If you're losing red blood cells, you're losing white ones too, which can disrupt your immune system. Plus, heavy periods can cause embarrassing accidents, which makes you want to just stay home.
After having endometrial ablation, women wonder why they ever lived this way.
Lori Shockley loves her daughters, but not something else that came with motherhood. Her already excessive menstrual bleeding and the cramping and fatigue that came with it only got worse after childbirth.
Lori says, "You know, when you're 30 years old and you have to go bed at 6:00 at night because you're so tired because of your menstrual cycle going on for 10 days in a row, it definitely changes your life."
After giving up on hormone therapy because of its side effects, she resolved herself to living with this condition, until she started going to see Gynecologist Cindy Basinski.
Dr. Basinski says, "Generally, my criteria is if someone is having to change their pad or tampon two hours or less, I consider that pretty heavy bleeding for them."
Since Lori and her husband were done having kids, Dr. Basinski recommended a type of endometrial ablation called novasure.
Performed in the office, she inserts a wand vaginally into the uterus and extends a triangular mesh device through it. It expands to conform to the cavity. Then, a 90-second burst of electrical energy burns off the uterine lining.
Dr. Basinski says, "When we're done, we just extract the device out and I actually take a camera and go in, and I look to make sure that everything was burned properly. If it wasn't, I manually go in and burn the areas."
When the lining of the uterus is gone, there is nothing to shed every month so there is little or no bleeding.
Lori hasn't had a period at all in two years.
Lori says, "I almost forget how it used to be, which is kind of funny because it was such a huge deal when i was having them. I couldn't be happier with the outcome. I mean, it's the best possible scenario that i could have had."
Novasure doesn't work for everyone. About 20 percent of women fail the procedure and continue to have periods.
But that's an 80 percent success rate, which is pretty good.
With the anesthesia, you don't feel a thing, but you wake up feeling a little crampy. Most women are back to work the next day.