Endometrial ablation is a procedure that removes the lining (endometrium) of the uterus (womb) to treat abnormally heavy menstrual periods.
Your gynecologist at Dignity Health may recommend endometrial ablation if you are a woman who has:
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Menstrual bleeding that interferes with your activities
- Menstrual periods that last longer than eight days
- Anemia (low red blood cell count) due to excessive menstrual bleeding
Doctors usually try other treatments, such as hormone therapy, before endometrial ablation. If such treatments do not help, endometrial ablation may be a good option, as it is less invasive and less complicated than a hysterectomy to remove the uterus.
Endometrial ablation is not recommended if you want to have children in the future. This procedure greatly decreases the chance of pregnancy and increases the risk of miscarriage. It is also not recommended for women who are postmenopausal.
At Dignity Health, our team of skilled OB/GYNs can help determine if this gynecologic procedure is right for you. Using the latest methods of care, we provide endometrial ablation in the Sacramento region at all six of our hospitals. Find a Doctor near you and schedule a consultation today.
What to Expect with Endometrial Ablation
During endometrial ablation, you will be given medicine to make you relaxed (sedative) or general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep during the procedure.
The doctor uses a tool called a hysteroscope to see inside the uterus, and opens (dilates) the cervix with medication or a series of tools. Experienced doctors at Dignity Health use a variety of methods to destroy the uterine lining:
- Cryoablation uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the area.
- Radiofrequency uses high energy from radio waves to heat the area.
- Free-flowing hot fluid fills the uterus with heated saline (mild salt water) for 10 minutes.
- Microwave ablation uses the energy from a microwave-generating device to heat the area.
- Electrosurgery uses a special tool and electric current to remove the lining.
- Heated balloon involves placing a small balloon filled with hot fluid inside the uterus. The hot fluid causes the balloon to expand. When the hot balloon touches the uterine lining, it destroys the tissue.
Your doctor will explain your treatment options and help prepare you for your procedure.
Recovery from Your Endometrial Ablation Procedure at Dignity Health
Most women go home the same day of endometrial ablation. Most have light vaginal bleeding and cramping for one to two days after endometrial ablation. You may have watery vaginal discharge for a few weeks, and possibly frequent urination and nausea.
You can 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 says it’s OK.
After endometrial ablation, most women have significantly lighter menstrual periods, and some may not have any menstrual bleeding at all. Dignity Health provides care for every aspect of women’s health services , including endometrial ablation, in Sacramento and the surrounding areas.