Endometrial ablation involves surgical removal (ablation) of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to stop or diminish
- Heavy monthly bleeding that requires changing sanitary pads or tampons every hour.
- Bleeding between menstruation.
- A menstrual period that lasts longer than seven days.
It is also useful in
The causes of heavy menstrual bleeding include:
- Hormone problems
- Cancer of the endometrium
Women may not get pregnant after undergoing endometrial ablation because it destroys the endometrial lining where the egg implants after being fertilized. Pregnancies that occur after endometrial ablation is abnormal and should be prevented with a reliable form of the birth control method.
Endometrial ablation should be avoided if women have
- Uterine or cervical cancer.
- A vaginal or cervical infection.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
- Uterus infection.
- A scar from a cesarean section.
- Weak wall of the uterus.
- An intrauterine device.
- An abnormality of the uterus or endometrium.
- Plans for getting pregnant or are pregnant.
- Post-menopausal phase.
What is endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation involves surgical removal (ablation) of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to stop or diminish heavy bleeding, bleeding between menstruation, or periods that last for a long time. It does not stop heavy bleeding completely but reduces it to normal or lighter levels. Endometrial ablation is useful in women who do not plan to have children in the future.
Usually, the physician inserts small tools through the vagina to reach the uterus and performs ablation; hence, this procedure doesn’t require incisions, unlike surgeries.
How is endometrial ablation performed?
Endometrial ablation involves several techniques, which include:
- Electrocautery: The physician uses an electric current that travels through a wire loop or rollerball to destroy the lining of the uterus. This method isn’t as commonly used as others.
- Hydrothermal: Heated fluid is pumped into the uterus to destroy the endometrial lining.
- Balloon therapy: A thin tube or catheter with an attached balloon is passed through the vagina to reach the uterus. The physician fills the catheter with fluids and heats it. The heated fluids destroy the lining.
- Radiofrequency ablation (high-energy radio waves): The physician inserts an electrical mesh into the uterus and expands it. The physician sends strong radio waves that ultimately get converted to electrical current to destroy the lining.
- Cryoablation: The physician uses a probe with a very cold temperature to freeze the lining.
- Microwave ablation: The physician sends microwave energy through a thin probe to destroy the lining.
In some cases, the physician uses a tool called a hysteroscope to examine the uterus. The hysteroscope has a camera attached to it.
What are the complications of endometrial ablation?
The potential complications of endometrial ablation include:
- Rupturing of the uterine wall
- Overloading of fluid into the bloodstream
Call the doctor if you experience
- Strong-smelling discharge from the vagina.
- Intense cramping or stomach pain.
- Trouble peeing.
- Bleeding that doesn’t stop two days after ablation.
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