Heavy periods can interfere with your life in a significant way. But there’s no need to suffer unnecessarily. At Capital Women’s Care in Leesburg and Sterling, Virginia, you can find relief through endometrial ablation, a procedure that helps to reduce menstrual flow. The team of qualified OB/GYN physicians is here to help you end the pain of heavy bleeding so you can experience easier menstrual cycles. Book your consultation today.
Endometrial Ablation Q&A
What is endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation is a procedure that destroys all or most of the thin layer of tissue that lines your uterus (the endometrium) which is responsible for the menstrual flow of blood. This results in a greatly reduced or sometimes completely absent menstrual flow in the future. One of our physicians likes to call it the “poor man’s hysterectomy” since it is so much easier to do and recover from than major surgery and gives similar results for women who suffer from abnormally heavy periods as their main complaint.
You might be a candidate for an endometrial ablation procedure if you experience abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), vaginal bleeding, heavy periods, or irregular periods.
It’s important to understand that only women who do not plan on having children after the procedure should consider endometrial ablation.
How is the procedure performed?
Before endometrial ablation, your physician makes certain that you aren’t pregnant and that you don’t have any kind of reproductive cancer. If your uterine lining is too thick, they might prescribe medication to help thin the uterine tissue or might perform a procedure to scrape away excess tissue.
Your doctor administers anesthesia before endometrial ablation, sometimes a general anesthesia and sometimes a local one.
There are a variety of different ways to perform the procedure, which might include:
- Electrical. This method uses an electric current that passes through a device inserted on the uterine lining; the electrical stimulation destroys the lining.
- Balloon. Your doctor inserts a catheter and balloon in your uterus. She fills the balloon with heated fluid that destroys the uterine lining.
- Radio waves. In radiofrequency ablation, an electrical mesh is inserted into your uterus, and it delivers radio waves that kill off the uterine lining.
- Cryoablation. In this method, your doctor uses cold therapy to freeze off uterine lining.
- Fluids. Your doctor injects heated fluid into the uterus to destroy and shed the lining.
What can I expect after the procedure?
It’s normal to experience some pain and cramping after endometrial ablation. You might also have some vaginal discharge or bloody spotting for a few weeks. Some patients also report a more frequent need to urinate during the first 24 hours after the procedure.
In time, your uterus will heal, and you will most likely experience much lighter periods. You could also stop getting your period altogether.
It’s still possible to get pregnant after this type of procedure, but it can be dangerous and will most likely result in a miscarriage. Contraception of some sort is therefore needed after the procedure if you or your partner are fertile.
Interested in endometrial ablation? Schedule your consultation online today.