Endometrial ablation is a treatment for abnormally heavy menstrual periods. It is a medical procedure that destroys the lining (endometrium) of the uterus.
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If you are interested in learning more about endometrial ablation in Arizona, our trusted women’s health specialists can talk to you about your options. Use our online Find a Doctor tool to schedule an appointment today.
Why Doctors Perform Endometrial Ablation
Doctors may recommend endometrial ablation for women who have:
- Anemia (low red blood cell count) due to excessive menstrual bleeding
- Menstrual bleeding that interferes with activities
- Heavy menstrual periods (p)eriods that soak a pad or tampon in two hours or less
- Menstrual periods that last longer than eight days
Doctors usually recommend other treatments, such as hormones, before endometrial ablation. Endometrial ablation destroys existing endometrial tissue. Then, the uterus generates a healthy new layer.
Endometrial ablation is not recommended for women who wish to have children in the future. The procedure decreases the chance of pregnancy drastically and increases the risk of miscarriage. Endometrial ablation is also not recommended for women who are postmenopausal.
What to Expect with Endometrial Ablation
Endometrial ablation may be performed in a clinic or hospital. You will be given either sedative medication to help you relax or general anesthesia to put you to sleep during the procedure.
Your doctor will use a tool called a hysteroscope to see inside the uterus and dilate (o)pen the cervix with either medication or a series of tools. A variety of methods can be used to destroy the uterine lining.
- Electrosurgery uses a special tool and electric current.
- Radiofrequency uses high energy from radio waves.
- Microwave ablation uses energy from a microwave-generating device.
- Cryoablation uses liquid nitrogen.
- Free-flowing hot fluid is a method in which the doctor fills the uterus with heated saline (mild salt water) for 10 minutes.
- Heated balloon is a method in which the doctor places a small balloon filled with hot fluid inside the uterus.
Recovery after Endometrial Ablation at Dignity Health
Most women go home the same day as their endometrial ablation procedure. Light vaginal bleeding and cramping for one to two days is normal. You may have watery vaginal discharge for a few weeks. Some women experience frequent urination and nausea.
You may take over-the-counter pain medication to relieve cramping as directed by your doctor. Do not have sex or insert anything in your vagina until your doctor clears such activity.
Most women who undergo endometrial ablation have significantly lighter menstrual periods after recovery, and some women may not have any future menstrual bleeding.
Dignity Health provides comprehensive women’s health services, including endometrial ablation, in Arizona.