What is endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation destroys a thin layer of the lining of the uterus and stops the menstrual flow in many women. In some women, menstrual bleeding does not stop but is reduced to normal or lighter levels. If ablation does not control heavy bleeding, further treatment or surgery may be required.
Why is endometrial ablation done?
Endometrial ablation is used to treat many causes of heavy bleeding. In most cases, women with heavy bleeding are treated first with medication. If heavy bleeding cannot be controlled with medication, endometrial ablation may be used.
Who should not have endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation should not be done in women past menopause. It is not recommended for women with certain medical conditions, including the following:
Can I still get pregnant after having endometrial ablation?
Pregnancy is not likely after ablation, but it can happen. If it does, the risk of miscarriage and other problems are greatly increased. If a woman still wants to become pregnant, she should not have this procedure. Women who have endometrial ablation should use birth control until after menopause. Sterilization may be a good option to prevent pregnancy after ablation.
A woman who has had ablation still has all her reproductive organs. Routine cervical cancer screening and pelvic exams are still needed.
Click on the FAQs below to expand
What techniques are used to perform endometrial ablation?
The following methods are those most commonly used to perform endometrial ablation:
What should I expect after the procedure?
Some minor side effects are common after endometrial ablation:
What are the risks associated with endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation has certain risks. There is a small risk of infection and bleeding. The device used may pass through the uterine wall or bowel. With some methods, there is a risk of burns to the vagina, vulva, and bowel. Rarely, the fluid used to expand your uterus during electrosurgery may be absorbed into your bloodstream. This condition can be serious. To prevent this problem, the amount of fluid used is carefully checked throughout the procedure.
Cervix: The lower, narrow end of the uterus that extends into the vagina.
Endometrial Hyperplasia: A condition in which the lining of the uterus grows too thick; if left untreated for a long time, it may lead to cancer.
General Anesthesia: The use of drugs that produce a sleep-like state to prevent pain during surgery.
Menopause: The process in a woman’s life when ovaries stop functioning and menstruation stops.
Pelvic Exam: A manual internal and external examination of a woman’s reproductive organs.
Sterilization: An operation that prevents a woman from becoming pregnant or a man from fathering a child.
Uterus: A muscular organ located in the female pelvis that contains and nourishes the developing fetus during pregnancy.
Vulva: The external female genital area.