Women whose heavy periods are caused by a thicker endometrium (womb lining) may benefit from the removal of the endometrium. This procedure can reduce heavy bleeding or even stop it completely. An endometrial ablation is an innovative method of treatment during which the womb lining is removed. It is a one-off, quick, procedure.
Outpatient procedures are performed under local anaesthetic. You will be given a local anaesthetic in your cervix (the neck of your womb) and maybe the uterus (womb), you may also be given a sedative. The procedure will then be performed. You may feel pressure in your lower abdomen during surgery. Any pain usually subsides rapidly after the procedure, so you can go home the same day.
It is also possible to have the treatment under general anaesthetic (or epidural). In that case, it is carried out on a day surgery basis. You feel no pain during treatment, although you may experience mild cramps afterwards.
For both types of surgery, you can usually resume your daily activities the following day. Following treatment, you should have normal or light periods or even no periods at all.
Is it right for you?
If your heavy bleeding is caused by fibroids, polyps or an infection alternative treatments will be offered. If you want to get pregnant, it is not an appropriate treatment as becoming pregnant after treatment poses serious risks. If you do have an endometrial ablation you will need to keep using contraception as pregnancy is possible.
If heavy periods are dictating your life and you’re unsure of their cause, book an appointment to see your GP. To get the most out of your appointment, take a look at the Talking to your GP section.