If you have a heavy menstrual flow, your doctor might recommend different treatments to help you. One option is endometrial ablation. While it can be an effective treatment, it’s not always the right choice for everyone. Before you make any decisions, it’s essential that you know what the procedure entails.
What Is Endometrial Ablation?
Endometrial ablation is a non-surgical procedure that removes the endometrial lining of the uterus. There are several types of endometrial ablation based on how the lining is removed. These are electrical, hydrothermal, cryoablation, balloon therapy, radiofrequency, and microwave ablation. Each of these options comes with specific pros and cons so you’ll need to discuss the details with your doctor.
Who Qualifies For The Procedure
Anyone who has excessive bleeding during menstruation can qualify for an endometrial ablation. Generally, heavy bleeding is defined as having a period that lasts for more than eight days, needing to change a sanitary product every two hours or less, or developing anemia because of blood loss.
However, you’re not likely to be considered for the procedure if you have pelvic inflammatory disease, a vaginal or cervical infection, cervical or uterine cancer, a weakness in the uterine wall, or your uterus has an abnormal shape.
Additionally, you can’t have an endometrial ablation if you were recently pregnant, currently use an IUD, had fibroid surgery, or had a vertical C-section.
It’s also important to let your doctor know if you would like to be pregnant in the future. Though an endometrial ablation won’t stop you from conceiving, it makes it very difficult for you to remain pregnant because of the damage to the endometrial lining.
What Happens During The Procedure
The exact details of your procedure will depend on which one you’re doing and if there are any other health issues that your doctor has to accommodate. It may be done in the doctor’s office or at a hospital. You may get general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia so that you’re awake during the procedure.
Afterward, your doctor will assess your uterus and cervix for compatibility with an endometrial ablation. Once everything is determined, the doctor will use medication to dilate the cervix. Then a device will be inserted through the cervix to destroy the endometrial lining.
This part is usually where the details differ. For example, if you’re doing cryoablation, the device will be extremely cold so it can