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Endometrial ablation

Endometrial ablation is a treatment option for excessive menstrual bleeding, also known as very heavy periods or menorrhagia.

Heavy bleeding can be very common, affecting as many as one in five women.

Endometrial ablation is a procedure to remove the lining of the womb or uterus, but is only recommended for women who are not planning a future pregnancy.

There is still a small chance of becoming pregnant after the procedure, which could cause complications.

Alternative treatments to this procedure include medication or hysterectomy.

Endometrial ablation techniques

Endometrial ablation is often done as a day case procedure, taking around 20 minutes plus preparation and recovery time. General or local anaesthetic will be used.

A gynaecologist will discuss whether endometrial ablation is appropriate, the risks, and which method is best for the individual circumstances. The two main types recommended are:

Microwave endometrial ablation: This procedure uses microwave energy from a probe inserted into the womb to heat and destroy the lining of the womb.

Thermal balloon ablation: In this procedure, a balloon is inserted into the womb, inflated then heated up to destroy the lining of the womb.

Aftercare

After ablation, seek medical advice if there's a persistent high temperature, worsening pelvic pain, nausea, vomiting, bowel or bladder problems or green coloured vaginal discharge.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on May 21, 2013

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