Endometrial Ablation

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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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

REFERENCES:

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].

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/13/2015

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