Minerva® Endometrial Ablation in Cincinnati, OH
For women who experience excessive bleeding during menstruation, relief is just a phone call away at Crescent Women’s Medical Group, led by board-certified gynecologists (OB-GYN) Drs. Chandra Gravely and Cindy Hansel. Our team of medical experts provides a choice of procedures to treat your condition, such as the Minerva® endometrial ablation treatment, as well as general gynecologic care for women in the Cincinnati and Blue Ash areas of Ohio.
What is the Minerva® Endometrial Ablation System?
If you are among the many women with excessively heavy menstrual bleeding that impairs your quality of life, Minerva® may be a solution for you. The Minerva® procedure is a safe, effective, one-time procedure that may reduce heavy bleeding. The treatment requires no incisions or general anesthesia and is performed in minutes, providing permanent results.
What is Heavy or Excessive Menstrual Bleeding?
Menorrhagia, or excessive menstrual bleeding, is a term used to describe a condition in which menstrual bleeding exceeds 1/3 cup (80ml). If you find yourself replacing pads or tampons more frequently than normal, or having to replace sanitary protection more than once in an hour, menorrhagia or excessive menstrual bleeding may be the cause. Excessive bleeding may cause you to feel weak and depleted of energy. Many women also report that excessive menstrual bleeding interferes with work, exercise, social and sexual activity. Menorrhagia is a common problem affecting approximately one in five women, and the onset is most commonly experienced between the ages of 30 and 40.
How Does the Minerva® System Work?
The Minerva® system works by using heat to ablate or remove the lining of the uterus. This endometrial tissue is what causes heavy bleeding in women prior to menopause. Minerva® is not recommended for women who wish to become pregnant at some point in the future, as pregnancy following the ablation procedure may be dangerous to both the mother and fetus.
Description of the Minerva® System
The Minerva® system consists of two main parts. The first is the Minerva® handpiece that is inserted through the vagina into the uterus, and the second is the Minerva® controller that supplies argon gas and RF-energy into the Minerva® handpiece. As the RF-energy ionizes the argon gas, it creates heat energy that circulates inside the tip of the Minerva® handpiece, ablating the endometrial tissue. The entire procedure takes less than five minutes.
Who Cannot Have This Done?
The Minerva® system is not recommended for patients who have the following conditions or have had these conditions in the past:
- Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the future should not undergo the Minerva® procedure, as the ablation of endometrial tissue prevents optimal conditions for pregnancy and can threaten both the mother and the fetus.
- Women who have or suspect they may have cancer of the uterus.
- Women who have a weakened uterine wall, possibly due to past surgeries or long-term use of certain medications. Our medical team can provide more information on this.
- Women who have already undergone an endometrial ablation procedure.
- Women who currently have an infection of the uterus, ovaries, bladder or other organs. Patients must be cleared of any infection before the ablation procedure can be scheduled.
- Women who have an Intrauterine device (IUD) in place. The IUD must be removed prior to the Minerva® treatment.
- Women who have undergone the Essure® procedure, as it is unknown whether the Minerva® treatment is safe and effective in patients who have undergone the Essure® procedure.
- Any woman with a very small uterus may be disqualified from the Minerva® treatment because it may cause injury. Before your procedure is scheduled, our medical team will measure your uterus to make sure you are an appropriate candidate for the Minerva® treatment.
Benefits of the Minerva® Treatment
The Minerva® treatment may be performed at any time during the menstrual cycle. The treatment takes only three to four minutes and may be done as an outpatient procedure without general anesthesia. Clinical studies found that one year following the Minerva® treatment, patients reported the following benefits:
- In 92 out of 100 patients, heavy bleeding was reduced to a normal level or less.
- In 66 out of 100 patients, the bleeding stopped altogether.
- Over 50 percent of patients with menstrual cramping reported that cramping decreased following the Minerva® procedure.
- Most patients reported improvement in sexual satisfaction.
- Most patients reported having more energy and less physical weakness surrounding their menstrual cycle.
- 98 out of 100 patients surveyed were completely satisfied with the results.
- 99 out of 100 patients surveyed reported that they would recommend Minerva® to a friend or relative.
What Happens Before Minerva® Treatment?
Prior to the Minerva® treatment, a nurse will measure your blood pressure, temperature and other important biological information. Wires may be taped on your chest to monitor how well your heart is working. You will also receive medication to ease any pain and help you relax. Oxygen may also be administered to help you breathe. The vagina will be cleansed with a special antiseptic solution.
What Happens During Minerva® Treatment?
During the procedure, the doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina in order to see inside. The doctor may numb your cervix so that you do not experience any pain during the procedure. At this point, the doctor may determine whether or not you are an appropriate candidate for Minerva® treatment, and if not, other options may be offered to treat your excessive menstrual bleeding.
The doctor will gently dilate the cervix in order to introduce the soft tip of the Minerva® device into the uterus; she will then administer heat energy to the inside of the uterus for two minutes. Once the treatment is complete, the doctor will remove the device from the uterus. The entire treatment, from the time the device is inserted until the device is removed, typically requires less than four minutes. No part of the Minerva® device remains inside the patient’s body after treatment.
What Happens After Minerva® Treatment?
Following treatment, you will be moved to a recovery area where you will be monitored closely for about an hour. Some patients experience mild cramping and pain. You may request medication for this. It is important that someone be there to take you home, as you will not be able to drive immediately after the procedure.
Most patients report mild abdominal cramping and inflammation for a day or so, which may be alleviated by taking over the counter pain medication. You may also experience vaginal discharge following the procedure, which initially may be bloody, but will gradually become clear. The typical duration of vaginal discharge is about two to four weeks, so plan to wear sanitary protection during this time.
Don’t suffer any longer with excessive menstrual bleeding. Contact our team of women’s health specialists at Crescent Women’s Medical Group where we offer compassionate, expert gynecologic or obstetrical care for women in the Cincinnati and Blue Ash areas of Ohio in a friendly and supportive environment.