Endometrial ablation is an effective and safe treatment for menorrhagia, the clinical name for heavy periods. More than 10 million women experience heavy menstrual bleeding every month.
While endometrial ablation won’t make you infertile, it is not recommended for women who would like to have children or have more children. But if you don’t want children, an endometrial ablation does not prevent pregnancies as a hysterectomy would.
Are you considering endometrial ablation? Dr. Sharon Breit and our expert providers at the Center for Women’s Health in Wichita, Kansas, explain the benefits of endometrial ablation and how the procedure affects your fertility.
What is endometrial ablation?
Endometrial ablation is an in-office, minimally invasive procedure. Women who experience heavy periods and prefer not to use hormones as a treatment or undergo a hysterectomy are good candidates for ablation.
A heavy period is defined as a period heavy enough to interfere with your daily life. Typically, women with menorrhagia soak through a sanitary pad or tampon every hour for several hours. Other symptoms of menorrhagia include:
- Waking up in the middle of the night to change your sanitary protection
- Bleeding longer than a week
- Passing large blood clots
- Feeling tired or short of breath
Treatment options for heavy periods include over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium and prescription hormone medications. If those treatments fail to provide relief or you’d prefer another option, endometrial ablation may be a good solution.
During endometrial ablation, Dr. Breit uses a laser to ablate, or eliminate, the lining of your uterus, also called the endometrium. After this procedure, most women have lighter periods, and some have no periods at all.
Fertility and endometrial ablation
While this procedure does not leave you infertile, it does leave you at a higher risk for pregnancy complications, so we don’t recommend endometrial ablation for women who would still like to get pregnant.
After endometrial ablation, you need to use some form of birth control since you can still get pregnant, but Dr. Breit can perform a sterilization procedure at the time of endometrial ablation, if you’d like.
You can feel comfortable speaking with Dr. Breit about heavy bleeding, severe cramping, or any other menstrual problem. You don’t have to live with discomfort. There are many treatment options.
Do you want to learn more about endometrial ablation and other treatments for heavy menstrual bleeding? Call us at the Center for Women’s Health to make an appointment or request one using our online tool.
Telehealth appointments are available. Please call our clinic to determine if your visit is eligible for a telemedicine appointment.