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Each month, a fertile woman sheds the inner lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, because of regular hormonal changes that occur during a menstrual cycle.
Heavy menstrual flow (menorrhagia) is a problem for many women, and large amounts of blood loss each month may even result in anemia for some women, causing them to feel weak and tired. Endometrial ablation, or destruction of the uterine lining, is one way to treat the heavy flow that bothers some women. Pregnancy is not recommended following ablation, so this procedure is only available to women who have completed childbearing.
What Happens During an Endometrial Ablation?
Different procedures are equally effective in removing the endometrium, including heating, freezing, laser and electricity. The method used to perform the endometrial ablation depends on many factors and your physician will decide the best course of action for your specific situation.
Benefits of an endometrial ablation include:
The Recovery Process
As part of your recovery, refrain from intercourse and tampon use until after your post-operative visit with your doctor. Most women can return to work the day after their endometrial ablation procedure.
It may take several months to see the full benefits of an endometrial ablation. The endometrial ablation procedure is usually very successful in reducing the amount of blood lost during the menstrual flow. Many women have much lighter periods, and some women have no periods at all.
You still need to use contraception even if you have an endometrial ablation, as pregnancy is still possible, but not recommended. In fact, thinning of the endometrial lining can cause serious complications were you to become pregnant afterwards.
Endometrial ablation works very well for women who are experiencing heavy bleeding that do not plan on becoming pregnant. Talk to your physician to see if this would be the best procedure for you.