Endometrial Ablation

What is endometrial ablation and why is it done?

Endometrial ablation is done for women with heavy menstrual bleeding, usually when medications have not worked. Electricity is used to destroy a thin layer of the lining of the uterus, or endometrium, to decrease or stop menstrual bleeding. It can be done in the office or in the operating room. A biopsy of the lining of the uterus should be done prior to an ablation to make sure the tissue is normal.

Can I get pregnant after an ablation?

Pregnancy is not common after an ablation but it may happen. If pregnancy does happen, the risk of miscarriage is greatly increased. A woman should have permanent sterilization or use contraception until the age of menopause to prevent pregnancy after an ablation.

What techniques are used to perform an ablation?

Here at Northwest Iowa Surgeons, PC, we use the Novasure endometrial ablation. A probe is inserted into the uterus through the cervix. The tip of the probe expands into a mesh-like device that sends radiofrequency energy into the lining. The energy and heat destroy the endometrial tissue, while suction is applied to remove it.

What can I expect after my procedure?

Some minor symptoms, such as cramping and nausea, may persist for a few days. Many note a thin, watery discharge mixed with blood, which can last a few weeks. The discharge may be heavy for 2–3 days after the procedure.