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What Is Endometrial Ablation Like?

What Is Endometrial Ablation Like?

An estimated one in three women experience heavy periods. Abnormally heavy periods are more than an inconvenience. They can impact your ability to carry out your regular activities and can cause health issues like iron deficiency. 

Losing too much iron through heavy periods each month can leave you feeling tired and depleted. Women with iron deficiency related to heavy periods report fatigue and generally feeling unwell. 

 Olivia Lee, WHNP, Emma Li, WHNP, and the rest of the team of women's health practitioners at Ideal Gynecology want women to know that excessively heavy periods aren’t normal. You don’t have to simply put up with the distress of having your life derailed each month.  

Hormonal medicine is usually the first line of treatment for heavy periods, but there are other treatment choices as well. Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that provides a favorable option for many women.

What is endometrial ablation?

Endometrial ablation improves heavy menstrual bleeding by using heat, cold, or radiofrequency to destroy the endometrial lining. Women with heavy periods tend to have a thick uterine lining. This is the inner layer of the uterus that sheds each month when you have your period. 

The endometrium may attempt to regrow with each cycle since it has unique cells necessary for a developing fetus. For most women, endometrial ablation significantly lightens or completely stops their flow. It's an option worth considering if you haven’t found adequate relief with other treatments and aren’t planning any future pregnancies. 

Am I a candidate for endometrial ablation?

Our team will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the reason for the abnormal bleeding. Endometrial ablation is not recommended for women with certain medical conditions, including endometrial hyperplasia, congenital uterine abnormalities, and uterine cancer. 

Ideal candidates are pre-or perimenopausal women with heavy periods who no longer want to become pregnant. 

Before the procedure

Before surgery, your provider will take a sample of your endometrium to make sure that there is no endometrial hyperplasia or cancer present. Endometrial biopsies are typically performed in the office. Endometrial ablation isn’t recommended for women who are at risk of endometrial cancer. The procedure can cause scarring that can make it challenging to check for endometrial cancer in the future. 

During the procedure

Depending on the technique used, you may experience sensations of pressure or warmth, but these are generally mild. The procedure itself is quick, usually completed within an hour, allowing you to return home the same day. Your comfort and safety are our primary concerns.

Recovering from endometrial ablation

Recovery is usually quick. It’s normal to experience some minor cramping and vaginal discharge. The discharge may appear watery mixed with blood. This typically lasts for a few days after the procedure.

Most women find that they can easily manage any cramping with over-the-counter pain medication. 

After endometrial ablation

It isn’t safe to get pregnant after endometrial ablation. Though it’s unlikely to get pregnant after endometrial ablation, it isn’t impossible. Therefore, you should use long-term birth control, such as an intrauterine device (IUD), to prevent pregnancy after this surgery. 

Endometrial ablation is highly effective. About 90% of women experience light periods or no periods after surgery. This change can dramatically improve your quality of life. The benefits extend beyond physical health, offering a newfound sense of freedom and control over your life.

Many women have experienced heavy periods for years before they decide to seek help. Don’t hesitate to come in to see us to learn more about endometrial ablation. Contact our office in Atlanta, Georgia to request an appointment. 

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