Uterine Endometrial Ablation
About Women by Women Near Boston, MA
Uterine endometrial ablation is the process of removing the thin layer of tissue from the internal cavity of the uterus. The goal of this minimally invasive procedure is to reduce or completely stop menstrual flow for women.
Endometrial ablation may be right for you if:
- You suffer from abnormally heavy periods
- You experience bleeding that lasts longer than 8 days
- You develop anemia from excessive blood loss
By inserting slender tools through the passageway between your vagina and uterus, your doctor is able to complete the procedure without the need for an incision of any sort.
Depending on a number of factors such as the size and condition of your uterus, your doctor will recommend the best method for the procedure. These varying methods include electrosurgery, extreme cold (cryoablation), heated fluids, heated balloon, microwave energy or high-energy radiofrequencies. The procedure can typically be done in the comfort of your own doctor’s office, however in some cases it may need to be done in an operating room.
Expected Recovery After Your Procedure
After the uterine endometrial ablation procedure, you may experience cramping (similar to menstrual cramping) and abnormal vaginal discharge in color (blood may be present) and in consistency (watery discharge). Other side effects include nausea and the need to urinate more frequently.
The downtime from this minimally invasive procedure is relatively short as most women are able to get back into their daily routine within several days.
Benefits of Uterine Endometrial Ablation
Most women who undergo endometrial ablation experience lighter periods or stop having their period altogether. If you wish to no longer have a period, a hysterectomy may be a better choice as stopping menstruation is not a guaranteed outcome of endometrial ablation.
Are There any Risks?
Although the procedure typically results in infertility, endometrial ablation is not a form of sterilization and it is recommended that you still use contraception. If you plan on getting pregnant in the future, endometrial ablation may not be right for you as it will most likely result in a high risk pregnancy. Chances of miscarriage are increased due to the thin or damaged lining of the uterus that is removed during the procedure.
If you’ve tried hormone therapy and other medicine to decrease the amount of blood loss during menstruation and have yet to see satisfying results, your doctor may recommend uterine endometrial ablation.