Endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure used to destroy the lining of the uterus. During the procedure, Dr. Mayer uses radiofrequency energy, microwave energy, extreme cold, or heated fluids to destroy the endometrium. Because Dr. Mayer inserts all of the necessary tools through the cervix, no incision is required for this procedure.
Dr. Mayer recommends endometrial ablation for patients with abnormal bleeding that doesn’t respond to other treatments. For example, Dr. Mayer will recommend this treatment when patients have extremely heavy periods, periods that last for more than 8 days, or anemia from extreme blood loss during the period.
In some cases, endometrial ablation can cause excessive bleeding, infection, or pain. Rarely, the procedure can inflict damage on nearby organs, or the uterine wall may be perforated. However, these more serious complications are unlikely.
Endometrial ablation is appropriate for patients with abnormal bleeding who are otherwise in good health. This procedure may not be appropriate for patients with cancer of the uterus, certain uterine abnormalities, or an active infection in the pelvis.
Immediately following the procedure, patients may experience menstrual-like cramps and vaginal discharge. Patients may also feel like they need to urinate more frequently.
After the endometrial ablation procedure, patients shouldn’t lose as much blood during menstruation. In some patients, menstruation may stop altogether.
Endometrial ablation won’t stop women from ovulating, so pregnancy is still possible. However, because the uterine lining has been destroyed, pregnancy after endometrial ablation isn’t safe. Pregnancies that occur after this procedure are more likely to be ectopic or end in miscarriage. For this reason, women who have undergone endometrial ablation should consider permanent birth control.
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