Reasons for Procedure
- Complications related to anesthesia
- Uterine perforation or organ injury
- Edema (swelling) due to fluid leakage and absorption
- Thermal (heat) injury to the vagina, vulva, or bowel
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Do an endometrial biopsy , ultrasound , or hysteroscopy of your uterus to check for abnormalities and understand the shape and size of your uterus.
- Your medical history
- Medicines or herbs and supplements you take
- Any allergies you have
- Whether you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
- If you have an intrauterine device (IUD)
- Ask your doctor about your options. There are many types of endometrial ablation.
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, aspirin )
- Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
- Take medicine to thin the lining of the uterus.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home from the care center. You may also need help at home.
- Try to quit smoking.
- Have a light dinner.
- The night before, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Description of the Procedure
- Radiofrequency (heat and energy)
- Cryoablation (freezing temperature)
- Heated fluid
- Heated balloon
- Microwave energy
- Electrosurgery (uses electrical current and a heated rollerball or spiked ball)—may require general anesthesia
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Check blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing
- Check on your fluid status and the electrolytes in your blood
- Feel cramping for 1-2 days
- Have a heavy discharge for 2-3 days
- Have a watery, bloody discharge for a few weeks
- Need to go to the bathroom a lot for the first day and have some nausea
- Make sure you have a supply of sanitary pads at home.
You should be able to return to normal activities within a day or two. Ask your doctor when you can:
- Resume sexual activity
- Use tampons
- Shower, bathe, or soak in water
Since you still have your sexual organs, you will need to:
- Use birth control to prevent pregnancy
- Have routine Pap tests
- Have pelvic exams
Call Your Doctor
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Severe abdominal cramping and pelvic pain
- Severe pain during sex
- Severe low back pain
- Pain during bowel movements or urination
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cough, chest pain, or shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Pain or tenderness in the calf or leg
- Menstruation does not get lighter after 2-3 periods
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org/
American Society for Reproductive Medicine http://www.asrm.org/
Canadian Women’s Health Network http://www.cwhn.ca/
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org/
Badash M. Menorrhagia. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated November 17, 2008. Accessed April 7, 2009.
Endometrial ablation. AHRQ National Guideline Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?doc%5Fid=10918&nbr=5698&ss=6&xl=999 . Updated May 2007. Accessed April 7, 2009.
Endometrial Ablation. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Practice bulletin. No. 81, May 2007. Obstet Gynecol. 2007 May;109(5):1233-48.
Endometrial ablation. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/publications/patient%5Feducation/bp134.cfm . Published March 2009. Accessed May 4, 2009.
Heavy menstrual bleeding. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence website. Available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/CG44NICEGuideline.pdf . Published January 2007. Accessed April 7, 2009.
Lethaby A, Hickey M, Garry R. Endometrial destruction techniques for heavy menstrual bleeding. Cochrane Collection website. Available at: http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab001501.html . Updated August 23, 2005. Accessed April 7, 2009.
Patient fact sheet: endometrial ablation. American Society for Reproductive Medicine website. Available at: http://www.asrm.org/Patients/FactSheets/endoablation.pdf . Updated 2008. Accessed May 4, 2009.
Rymaruk J. Hysteroscopy. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated November 17, 2008. Accessed April 7, 2009.
Understand NICE guidelines: treatment and care for women with heavy periods. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence website. Available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/HMBUNGv9Sept08.pdf . Published January 2007. Accessed April 8, 2009.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2012 -