Women who experience excessive menstrual bleeding may consider an endometrial ablation.
When heavy bleeding during a menstrual cycle soaks a pad or tampon in less than two hours or when bleeding lasts more than eight days, serious situations may result, including anemia caused by the loss of blood.
An endometrial ablation is a treatment for excessive menstrual bleeding with a goal to reduce the flow of blood during a period. The ablation may stop your period altogether, but not always.
In general, Rosemark providers start with a non-surgical approach to excess menstrual bleeding by prescribing medications or by placing an IUD into the uterus before doing an endometrial ablation. If the non-surgical approaches are not effective in reducing bleeding, an endometrial ablation is an option for consideration.
Some women should not have an endometrial ablations including women who are past menopause or women with certain medical conditions like abnormalities of the uterus or endometrium. Also, women who have an increased risk of uterine cancer, an existing uterine infection, or recently became pregnant, should not have an endometrial ablation.
Endometrial ablation is a procedure that surgically destroys the endometrium, which is the thin layer of the lining of the uterus. No incisions are necessary for an endometrial ablation.
Surgical instruments are inserted through the vagina and pass the cervix into the uterus. At this point, a couple of endometrial ablation methods are used including heated fluids, high energy radio frequencies or microwave energy. The outcome of any of these methods is to destroy the endometrium.
At Rosemark, patients have a choice between an in office endometrial ablation or one may be scheduled at the hospital. The Rosemark provider will discuss the options with the patient and make a recommendation based on the size and condition of the uterus.
As with any procedure, an endometrial ablation may include some or all of the following minor side effects after the surgery:
- Some Nausea.
- Frequent urination for 24 hours.
- Cramping, like menstrual cramps for 1 -2 days.
- A heavy, watery discharge mixed with blood for 2 – 3 days.
- A thin, watery discharge for a few weeks.
For women who want to become pregnant, an endometrial ablation is not an option. After an endometrial ablation, pregnancy is not likely but it can happen. Unfortunately, if pregnancy occurs after an ablation, the risk of miscarriage and other problems greatly increase. Using birth control or permanent sterilization is suggested after an endometrial ablation to prevent pregnancy.
Some of the risks associated with an endometrial ablation include but not limited to:
- The surgical device may pass through the uterine wall or bowel.
- Burns to the vagina, vulva, and bowel (with some methods).
If you are experiencing excessive menstrual bleeding, contact your Rosemark healthcare provider and make an appointment to discuss your situation.