What Is Endometrial Ablation?

June 23, 2015

For women who experience especially heavy periods that result in significant blood loss, the endometrial ablation procedure can be a good solution. This procedure is used to reduce menstrual flow, and in some cases, cease the menstrual cycle while keeping a woman’s uterus and other reproductive organs intact. Many women turn to it as an alternative to a hysterectomy, which is more invasive. Here’s more about endometrial ablation and how the procedure works.

The Endometrial Ablation Procedure

The purpose of endometrial ablation is to remove the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus that is shed during monthly menstrual periods. The procedure requires no incisions. Instead, a physician uses a slender tool called a hysteroscope, along with a device that heats, freezes or lasers away the endometrial lining.

With the endometrial lining destroyed, monthly menstrual periods usually stop completely. However, the procedure is not necessarily permanent and many women who undergo it end up eventually getting their periods again.

Typically, the procedure also prohibits a woman from becoming pregnant. However, it is not impossible to become pregnant after endometrial ablation, so it is important to take proper birth control measures. Pregnancies after ablation are considered risky, so some insurance companies require sterilization before undergoing the procedure.

How Will I Feel After Surgery? | Endometrial Ablation Recovery Time

Some cramping is normal as is water/blood discharge from the vagina. The discharge can endure for approximately two weeks and should become clear in a couple of days. You may even feel a little nauseated. Expect to go home the same day as your procedure. Full recovery usually takes about two weeks.

What Are the Risks?

The risks involved are fairly uncommon, but can be serious. These include perforation of the uterus, internal uterine burns, fluid buildup in the lungs, and decreased blood flow in the lungs or uterine tearing.

When Is Endometrial Ablation Recommended?

If you are seeking the procedure for heavy periods, most physicians will first recommend less invasive solutions, such as hormonal management and certain types of birth control. If such options do not prove successful, endometrial ablation provides an effective solution to heavy menstrual bleeding without the potential complications that come with removing the uterus.

Endometrial ablations may be used to treat:

– Unusually heavy periods more often than not

– Periods that result in enough blood loss to soak through a pad or tampon every hour on heavy days

– Excessive blood loss that leads to anemia

This procedure is generally not recommended for women who:

– Have not first tried more conservative solutions

– Who wish to become pregnant at some point in the future

– Recently gave birth

– Experience severe menstrual cramps

– Have uterine cancer or are at high risk of developing it

– Are post-menopausal

Contact the OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for Free Consultation

At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide a variety of in-office procedures to add ease and convenience to women’s healthcare. We offer two types of endometrial ablation procedures to help women who suffer from heavy periods. When you visit with one of our physicians, they’ll assess your individual situation and determine which type of procedure is right for you. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, give us a call or schedule an appointment online.