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Some women who experience heavy bleeding during their periods and don’t plan to have any or more children in the future decide to have endometrial ablation.
Endometrial ablation destroys a thin layer of the uterine lining (endometrium), which can help to reduce menstrual bleeding to normal or lighter levels. It can be helpful for women who experience heavy or long periods (longer than seven days), bleeding between periods or anemia as a result of heavy bleeding.
The procedure isn’t recommended for everyone, so ask your doctor if it’s right for you.
Endometrial ablation usually results in a significant decrease in your ability to get pregnant so you shouldn’t have the procedure if you’re planning to become pregnant. Additionally, ablation is not typically recommended for women who:
In the past, women who suffered from heavy periods often had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).
An endometrial ablation is less invasive than a hysterectomy and can be performed on an outpatient basis.
Doctors today usually try to control heavy bleeding with medication or sometimes an intrauterine device (IUD) first. If medication isn’t effective, some common methods for endometrial ablation include:
After the procedure, some women experience increased urination for a day, nausea, bleeding and cramping for a few days, and watery-bloody discharge for a few weeks.
Here are some pros and cons of an endometrial ablation to discuss with your doctor:
After an endometrial ablation, you’ll still need routine cervical cancer screening and pelvic exams. Doctors also recommend women continue using birth control until after menopause or undergo sterilization to prevent pregnancy after ablation.
Need an OB-GYN? Edward-Elmhurst Health has hundreds of medical board-certified physicians to choose from. You can book online today to set up your first appointment.
Learn more about women’s health at Edward-Elmhurst Health
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