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Quick GuideWomen's Health: A Visual Guide to Uterine Fibroids
What is the outlook after endometrial ablation?
The majority of women who undergo endometrial ablation report a successful reduction in abnormal bleeding. Up to half of women will stop having periods after the procedure. Yet, studies indicate the rate of failure (defined as bleeding or pain after endometrial ablation that required hysterectomy or reablation) was 16% to 30% at 5 years. Failure was most likely to occur in women younger than 45 years and in women with 5 or more children, prior tubal ligation, and a history of painful menstrual cramps. After endometrial ablation, 11% to 36% of women had a repeat ablation or other uterine-sparing procedure.
Although the procedure removes the uterine lining and typically results in infertility, it should not be considered as a birth control measure, because pregnancy can still occur in a small portion of the endometrium which remains or has regrown. In this case there may be severe problems with the pregnancy, and the procedure should never be performed if the woman may desire pregnancy in the future.
Medically reviewed by Steven Nelson, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology
El-Nashar SA, Hopkins MR, Creedon DJ, et al. Prediction of treatment outcomes after global endometrial ablation. Obstet Gynecol. Jan 2009;113(1):97-106. [Medline].