Endometrial ablation

For many years, at least in the so-called “enlightened” Western World, any problems that women experienced with their menstrual cycle, childbirth, menopause or other reproductive processes was termed “female trouble” and left at that. Needless to say, there are plenty of kinds of “female trouble” and some of them are very serious. For example, some women suffer from excruciating pain during their menstrual period which keeps them from performing even common everyday tasks during this time of the month. For women with this heavy menstrual bleeding, an oncoming “time of the month” can be a disaster of epic proportions.

Luckily, science and Western society is no longer so old fashioned when it comes to matters related to the female reproductive system. There are now many medications, treatments and procedures for women who suffer from heavy, painful periods, childbirth complications, or hormone imbalances during menopause, to name just a few of the possible problems women can have.

For many women, heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle is a major problem, but fortunately, there are now procedures that can stop this. One well known procedure is a hysterectomy, where the uterus is removed. A hysterectomy is an invasive procedure and one that can have complications. For that reason, doctors have come up with a simpler and less complicated procedure to relieve heavy menstrual bleeding, and that procedure is called an endometrial ablation.

An endometrial ablation is a procedure in which doctors remove or destroy the lining of the uterus. The lining of the uterus (i.e. the endometrium) is the part of the woman’s reproductive system that bleeds during menstruation. After an endometrial ablation is performed, the woman’s menstrual bleeding either slows significantly or, in many cases, stops altogether. For this reason, an endometrial ablation should only be performed on women who do not wish to have children or are past their child bearing years. Unlike a hysterectomy, an endometrial ablation procedure will not guarantee that menstrual periods will no longer occur.

For most women who experience extremely heavy periods, any type of reduction in the heaviness of the period is a welcome relief. For example, heavy menstrual periods may result in pain for up to seven days out of the month, meaning that one quarter of a menstruating woman’s life is wracked with pain, severely affecting her quality of life. Further, this can stop women from being able to work or make a living. Procedures like endometrial ablation make it possible for these women to experience the quality of life that the rest of us take for granted.

If you are a woman who suffers from heavy menstrual periods, an endometrial ablation may be for you, but you must speak with your doctor or gynecologist first. Your doctor or gynecologist will look over your medical records and make sure that you do not suffer from any preexisting conditions that might stop you from getting the procedure. For example, fibroids on the wall of the uterus may make you an unlikely candidate for the surgery, but only if you are a certain age. On the other hand, women who have gone through menopause may still be good candidates for endometrial ablation despite the presence of uterine fibroids. This is the reason why it is important to discuss your individual case with a trusted physician before scheduling an endometrial ablation procedure.

On that note, be aware that not all gynecologists are experts in the endometrial ablation procedure, so not all will be able to advise you if the procedure is right for you. Before seeing a gynecologist, look up their records or give their receptionist a call to find out if they are endometrial ablation proponents. As with any type of professional, one doctor’s experience and purview may be different from another’s, so be sure you are seeing a gynecologist who is experienced and can help you make this important decision about your reproductive system.

Last updated on Aug 10th, 2010 and filed under Medical Treatment. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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