Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive alternative to a hysterectomy for treating heavy menstrual periods. The procedure is designed to leave your uterus intact and instead remove just the endometrium (uterus lining), which is responsible for heavy periods.
At Ideal Gynecology, board-certified OB/GYN Lillian Schapiro, MD, offers Minerva endometrial ablation to appropriately selected patients to treat heavy periods. Read on to learn how endometrial ablation can help you take back control from heavy periods.
Are my heavy periods normal?
Menstrual flows vary widely from woman-to-woman, and what’s normal for one woman may be out of the ordinary for another. So, how do you know if your periods are considered heavy? Here are some clues that you’re dealing with heavy periods.
- Needing to change pads or tampons every two to three hours
- Bleeding that lasts more than seven days
- Needing to change pads or tampons during the overnight hours
- Inability to control menstrual flow with high-absorbency pads or tampons
- Passing large blood clots
Certainly your period is considered heavy if you find yourself needing to change tampons or sanitary napkins every hour. Gynecological issues, such as fibroids, endometriosis, hormonal imbalance, and ovarian cysts increase the risk for heavy periods. If you're experiencing heavy periods, it's time to consult with an OB/GYN.
What is endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation is a quick, in-office procedure to treat heavy periods. The procedure destroys the endometrial lining, which is the tissue responsible for menstrual bleeding. This low-risk option has a high patient satisfaction rate and requires little downtime.
After the procedure, patients may never experience another period again. Roughly half of women no longer have a period after endometrial ablation and are thrilled with the results. Of the women who do continue to have a cycle, most have minimal bleeding and are satisfied with their newfound freedom.
What does the procedure involve?
Minerva is an advanced endometrial ablation procedure that uses PlasmaSense technology to deliver controlled energy contained in a soft, conforming balloon. Dr. Schapiro will open the entrance of the uterus slightly and insert the wand before deploying the Minerva array, which expands, conforming to the shape of your uterus. Once in place, the device delivers precise energy that destroys the lining of the uterus. The procedure takes less than five minutes.
Am I a candidate for endometrial ablation?
There are things to consider when choosing a treatment for heavy periods. Endometrial ablation is recommended for women who are done having children. Candidates for endometrial ablation:
- Have complications from heavy periods, such as iron deficiency
- Have periods that last longer than seven days
- Have heavy periods that affect their daily activities
- Desire to reduce heavy periods without surgery
Dr. Schapiro can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for endometrial ablation.
Heavy periods don’t have to control your life. To find out if endometrial ablation is right for you, call our office in Atlanta or McDonough to schedule a visit with Dr. Schapiro.