Excessive menstrual bleeding can be a source of considerable frustration. Heavy bleeding can lead to the need to change a pad or tampon frequently, periods that last an unusually long time, or even anemia due to excessive blood loss. In some cases, heavy or irregular bleeding can be treated with hormone-based medications. However, this approach may not work for every woman. Thankfully, there are alternatives.
Endometrial ablation is a gynecological procedure designed to help women reduce their menstrual flow. When performed by our board-certified gynecologists, endometrial ablation can provide long-term relief for women who experience excessive bleeding by surgically removing (ablating) a thin layer of the lining of the uterus. Most women are incredibly satisfied with their results. Below we answer some commonly asked questions about endometrial ablation and which women it may be able to help:
Which Women are Good Candidates for Endometrial Ablation?
Endometrial ablation can help women who experience heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding who cannot be treated with medication alone. Some women are not able to successfully treat their excessive bleeding with hormone-based medications or prefer not to take these meds due to fear of certain side effects. Additionally, some women prefer endometrial ablation to more invasive surgical alternatives like a hysterectomy. We would not recommend endometrial ablation for women who wish to become pregnant in the future, as the procedure can increase the chances of pregnancy complications.
What is Recovery Like Following Endometrial Ablation?
We perform endometrial ablation as an outpatient procedure. This means that you can go home the same day following your procedure. Some minor side effects including cramping, nausea, and frequent urination may occur for one or two days after your ablation. Some women may notice a thin, watery discharge mixed with blood for a few weeks, but this is temporary.
Will My Need for Gynecological Screenings Change After Endometrial Ablation?
No. Endometrial ablation only affects the lining of the uterus. This means that a woman will still have all of her reproductive organs following her procedure. Regular well woman exams including Pap testing and pelvic exams will still be necessary.
We hope you found these answers informative and helpful. When it comes to maintaining the best-possible reproductive health and wellness, there is no such thing as too much information. If you have any questions of your own or if you would like to request an appointment, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for additional tips, news, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.