This procedure involves using extreme temperatures or energy from radio waves to destroy the lining of the uterus.
The normal female reproductive system has two ovaries, two fallopian tubes and a uterus (womb).
The endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. It is shed from the female body every month during menstruation.
An endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure that destroys the endometrium. The procedure can eliminate or cause a marked reduction of vaginal bleeding (menstrual flow). Endometrial ablation is performed using various forms of energy, including:
Depending on the method used, an endometrial ablation can be performed in a doctor's office or as an outpatient surgical procedure. It is often performed with a hysteroscopy.
There are multiple causes of abnormal uterine bleeding. These causes include:
Some causes of abnormal uterine bleeding can be serious. If a specific cause is not found, abnormal uterine bleeding is generally thought to be due to hormonal factors. Contact your healthcare provider if you have vaginal bleeding that is different from your normal menstrual flow or occurs after menopause. Your provider will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam, which will include an examination of your pelvic area (internal exam). They may also order:
Your healthcare provider may recommend a hysteroscopy and endometrial ablation if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been controlled with medication or other less invasive treatments.
Endometrial ablation is not recommended for women who want to get pregnant or have:
In some cases, it may not be recommended for postmenopausal women.
Prior to the procedure, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before the procedure. These may include:
If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking. Smoking can interfere with your recovery.
During an endometrial ablation and hysteroscopy, you will receive some type of anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free.
There may be a small amount of bloody vaginal discharge and cramping after the procedure.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having an endometrial ablation?
After your procedure, your healthcare provider should provide a description of any problems found during the procedure and what symptoms you should report.
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