Heavy bleeding during your menstrual period can disrupt your day-to-day activities. Needing to change your sanitary pad or tampon every one to two hours makes it difficult to do other things. Additionally, losing that much blood can cause anemia.
A heavy period may also be one that lasts longer than normal. A menstrual period that’s longer than eight days is considered abnormal.
Usually, it’s preferable to treat heavy bleeding or long periods with medication. However, medication isn’t always an effective treatment approach. In some cases, endometrial ablation may be the most appropriate solution.
Destruction of the endometrium
Your endometrium is a thin layer of tissue that lines your uterus. When you get pregnant, the egg implants in the endometrium. Contrarily, when you don’t get pregnant, your body sheds the endometrium each month during your menstrual period.
Endometrial ablation is the destruction of your endometrium to treat excessive blood loss during your menstrual period. You may have a much shorter period or stop having a period at all after having endometrial ablation.
The procedure doesn’t involve a surgical incision; it is done through your vagina. There are many different methods that can be used to do endometrial ablation.
Common methods of endometrial ablation
Our doctors take several factors into consideration when recommending a method of endometrial ablation. The most common options for the procedure are:
- Electrosurgery: Tools heat up and carve furrows in your endometrium
- Cryoablation: Extreme cold is applied in cycles to destroy the endometrium
- Free-flowing hot fluid: Heated saline is circulated in your uterus
- Thermal balloon: A device is inserted into your uterus and then inflated with heated fluid
- Microwave: Microwaves heat and destroy your endometrium
- Radiofrequency: Radiofrequency energy vaporizes the endometrium
Endometrial ablation isn’t for everyone
Although you keep of your reproductive organs following endometrial ablation, you may have difficulty getting pregnant. If you do become pregnant, the risks are much greater. You may want to discuss sterilization or long-term birth control before undergoing endometrial ablation.
If you’re not sure whether you want to have children in the future, endometrial ablation is not a good option for you. Other people who should not have the procedure include women who:
- Are postmenopausal
- Have an increased risk of uterine cancer
- Have uterine cancer
- Have an active pelvic infection
The team at the Georgia SurgiCare uses state-of-the-art techniques to ensure your safety, and complications are rare. However, the procedure does come with some risks. For instance, you may experience pain or bleeding, or other organs might become damaged. Your doctor discusses all of the risks and benefits with you before the procedure.
You’re likely to experience some discharge for a few weeks after having endometrial ablation. Over time, however, you’ll notice that the procedure reduces the amount of blood you lose during menstruation. You may have lighter periods, shorter periods, or stop having a menstrual period altogether.
If you’ve struggled with heavy bleeding or periods that last a long time, talk with an expert about whether endometrial ablation might be a solution for you. Book an appointment at Georgia SurgiCare online or by phone. Our staff is happy to answer your questions.
About The Author:
Clinical Professor of Surgery, Augusta University and University of Georgia
Fellow, American College of Surgeons
Member, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Dr. Chris is the CEO of Georgia SurgiCare and its subsidiaries, the premier Same-Day Surgery center in Georgia. He is an Augusta University Professor of Surgery who specializes in all aspects of General and Bariatric Surgery, including acid reflux, weight loss, gallbladder, hernia repair, and cancer care.
He is a leader in his field and at the forefront of technology, committed to providing high-quality, personalized, and compassionate care to patients every day. Furthermore, Dr. Chris has received numerous prestigious awards and distinctions such as Best of Gwinnett, SBDC Business Development, and Innovation Award.