Endometrial Ablation (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is endometrial ablation?
- Why is endometrial ablation done?
- How is endometrial ablation performed?
- What are the risks and complications of endometrial ablation?
- What is the outlook after endometrial ablation?
- Endometrial Ablation At A Glance
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
What are the risks and complications of endometrial ablation?
Complications of the procedure are not common but may include:
- accidental perforation of the uterus,
- tears or damage to the cervical
opening (the opening to the uterus), and
- infection, bleeding, and burn injuries to the uterus or intestines.
In rare cases, fluid used to expand the uterus during the procedure can be absorbed into the bloodstream, leading to fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
Some women may experience regrowth of the endometrium and need further surgery (see below).
Minor side effects of the procedure can occur for a few days, include cramping (like menstrual cramps), nausea, and frequent urination for 24 hours. A watery discharge mixed with blood may be present for a few weeks after the procedure and can be heavy for the first few days.
What is the outlook after endometrial ablation?
The majority of women who undergo endometrial ablation report a successful reduction in abnormal bleeding. Up to half of women will stop having periods following the procedure. However, studies have shown that 6% to 25% of women report that their heavy bleeding pattern was unchanged one year following the procedure, and some women will require further surgery (re-ablation or hysterectomy) to control the bleeding. About 10% of women who have endometrial ablation will eventually have a hysterectomy.
Although the procedure removes the uterine lining and typically results in infertility, it should not be considered as a birth control measure, because pregnancy can still occur of a small portion of the endometrium was left in place or has regrown. In this case there may be severe problems with the pregnancy, and the procedure should never be performed if the woman may desire pregnancy in the future.
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