What is endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation is a procedure that removes the lining of the uterus. Endometrial ablation is commonly used for women who suffer from heavy periods. One of the most common techniques used for ablation is the NovaSure device.
When is endometrial ablation used?
Endometrial ablation is used to treat menorrhagia which is the medical term for heavy menstrual periods. This procedure is used when other medications and treatment options have been unsuccessful.
How is endometrial ablation performed?
A thin portion of the uterine lining is destroyed to control heavy bleeding. There are several techniques that can be used for the endometrial ablation procedure. Some options can be performed in the doctor’s office, while others require hospitalization and general anesthesia. The cervix is dilated, and the uterine lining is destroyed using one of the following methods:
- Free-flowing heated fluid (HydroThermal ablation)
- Heated balloon (ThermaChoice ablation)
- Freezing (Her Option ablation)
- Microwave probe (MEA)
- Radiofrequency (NovaSure ablation)
- Electrosurgery (Rollerball ablation)
After endometrial ablation
The procedure will stop menstruation for most women, although in some cases it reduces menstrual bleeding to a normal or light flow. Symptoms following the endometrial ablation procedure may persist for several days. These include heavy vaginal discharge, frequent urination, and menstrual-like cramps. A lighter vaginal discharge may persist for a few weeks following the procedure.
Fertility following endometrial ablation
After endometrial ablation, the chances of becoming pregnant are significantly reduced. For women who do become pregnant after the procedure, the rates of miscarriage or other problems are much higher. Birth control should be used until after menopause following endometrial ablation. Endometrial ablation is not recommended for women who were recently pregnant or would like to become pregnant.