Women who have heavy or unusually long-lasting menstrual periods are at risk for iron-deficiency anemia, often experience severe cramps, and they’re forced to limit activities during their period. The doctors at UroGyn Specialists of Florida have several treatments for women with heavy bleeding, including endometrial ablation. To learn if you’re a good candidate for ablation, contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Orlando, Lake Mary, Kissimmee, and The Villages in Florida.
Who might need endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation is a procedure that’s used to stop excessive blood loss during your menstrual period. In some women, menstrual flow stops completely; in others it’s reduced to normal or light levels.
You may be a good candidate for endometrial ablation if you have:
- Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than eight days
- Very heavy menstrual periods that soak a pad or tampon every two hours or less
- Anemia from excessive menstrual blood loss
Medications or inserting an intrauterine device (IUD) are often the first line of treatment used to stop heavy bleeding. Endometrial ablation is an option to try when they don’t work. Ablation may also be the first treatment tried if you’re not a good candidate for medication or the IUD.
Can you get pregnant after ablation?
You may be able to get pregnant following an endometrial ablation, but you shouldn’t count on it. If you do get pregnant, you’re at a high risk for miscarriage or a pregnancy that occurs in the fallopian tubes. For these reasons, ablation is usually performed on women who are finished having children.
How is endometrial ablation performed?
Endometrial ablation is performed using a minimally-invasive technique that uses small instruments to reach the uterus through the vagina and cervix. During the procedure, a thin layer of the endometrium -- the tissue that lines the uterus -- is removed. The lining of the uterus can be removed by killing cells using any of these techniques:
- Radiofrequency ablation – radio waves
- Cryoablation – very cold temperature
- Microwave ablation – microwave energy
- Electrocautery – an electric current
- Hydrothermal – heated fluid
- Balloon – balloon filled with heated fluid
What should you expect after the procedure?
You may experience minor side effects, such as cramping that lasts 1-2 days and a thin discharge that may last a few weeks. Some women find they have to urinate frequently during the 24 hours after surgery.
Most women can get back to their normal activities in 1-2 days, but you shouldn’t have sex until you get approval from your doctor at UroGyn Specialists of Florida. It may take a few months before you’ll see the full results of ablation, but then you’ll either have significantly lighter menstrual periods or your periods will stop completely.