Endometrial Ablation is the permanent destruction of the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) as a way to treat heavy periods. This is done when child bearing is complete and other treatments have been unsuccessful. The procedure is most often able to be performed in the office without the use of sedation. The primary goal of an endometrial ablation is reduction in the heaviness and length of periods. Some women even experience cessation of periods altogether (amenorrhea)
First, you’ll schedule an evaluation. This will determine if an endometrial ablation is the right procedure for you. The following steps will happen during the evaluation:
- You’ll take a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, you will not be a candidate for an endometrial ablation.
- We’ll potentially do a biopsy to look for abnormal cells in your uterus.
- We’ll discuss what medication you’re taking. Some medications have the potential to cause problems during the procedure. We will discuss all of your options during this time.
Next, we’ll discuss the plan for your procedure. Day-of preparation includes:
- Planning for someone to pick you up.
- Depending on the type of endometrial ablation, we may prescribe medication for you to take that will thin your uterus lining.
An endometrial ablation may be done in the office or in the operating room. Just like during your routine pelvic exams, you’ll lie on an exam table. In most cases, we numb your pelvic area and give you sedatives to make the procedure more comfortable.
During the procedure, Dr. Poppen will insert a delicate, wand-like device into your vagina. This device extends through your cervix and into your uterus, where it can access the lining. Depending on the type of endometrial ablation, the device sends energy, heat, or cold to destroy part of the uterus lining. The device turns healthy tissue into scar tissue and is designed to be precise so that only a safe portion of the uterus lining actually gets destroyed. We use the latest technology to make the procedure is completed safely with minimal discomfort.
Generally, it takes 2-3 days for patients to carry on with their normal routine post-procedure. You’ll see the results from the procedure take effect within 2-3 months. At this time, you’ll notice that your periods are lighter or you may stop having periods altogether.
Endometrial ablation is a common procedure that effectively stops heavy bleeding. See below for answers to some commonly asked questions.