How Does an Endometrial Ablation Help Stop Heavy Periods?

Endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure that destroys your uterus lining (endometrium). Your doctor can suggest it if you experience heavy bleeding during your monthly periods. You can curb the bleeding or stop it completely.


After undergoing the procedure, you may never bleed again, or your bleeding can decrease. Generally, 50 percent of the women who undergo endometrial ablation never bleed again.


Heavy Menstrual Bleeding


Having heavy periods is a common problem among many women. Approximately one out of three women experience a heavy flow during their cycle. Bleeding during your period that surpasses a third of a cup is excessive or heavy.


Below are signs that show you have excessive bleeding:


  • Using a pad and a tampon at the same time

  • You wear two sanitary towels at the same time

  • You frequently change your saturated tampon and pad

  • You bleed for more than one week during your monthly periods

  • You have symptoms of anemia, such as shortness of breath or tiredness

  • You miss social events or work when you are on your period


How Does Endometrial Ablation Work?


Endometrial ablation is an outpatient procedure that treats your bleeding without any incisions. The process can happen in a hospital, office, or ambulatory surgery setting.


Many technological medical devices can perform endometrial ablation. Your surgeon decides what to use based on their level of comfort and personal preference. Each of the devices available works to destroy the endometrial lining. 


First, your doctor will dilate your cervix to introduce the device into your uterus. Once your doctor places it, the ablation begins. When the treatment is complete, your gynecologist removes the appliance. Your uterine walls will shed off like your menstrual periods for the next few weeks as you recover. 


Preparation for the Procedure


Your doctor is likely to do the following weeks before the procedure:


  • Test you for pregnancy - Endometrial ablation is not suitable for pregnant women

  • Remove your IUD - The procedure requires no IUD present in your body

  • Test for cancer - Your doctor obtains a sample of your endometrium by inserting a catheter through your cervix. The specimen helps check for cancer

  • Thin your uterine lining - Some procedures are successful when the endometrium is thin. Your doctor can prescribe some medication

  • Discuss your anesthesia options - Some endometrial ablation methods need general anesthesia. Others may need numbing shots or conscious sedation. Your doctor will discuss your options to prepare you for the procedure


Fertility After the Procedure


Pregnancy can happen after undergoing endometrial ablation. But these pregnancies pose a higher risk to both the mother and the baby. You can have a miscarriage because of a damaged uterus lining. You can also have the pregnancy occur in your cervix or fallopian tube instead of the uterus.


Your doctor can tell you to have a long-lasting type of contraception. Doing so helps prevent pregnancy after having an endometrial ablation.


Recovery Time 


You may experience abdominal cramping after the procedure. Most women have a yellow or pink watery vaginal discharge after treatment. Pain medication can help reduce cramping. In most cases, patients resume their normal activities the following day after treatment.


For more on endometrial ablation, contact Partners in Obstetrics & Women’s Health at our office in New Lenox, Illinois. You can call (815) 240-0554 to book an appointment today.

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