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Endometrial ablation is an operation to remove the lining of your uterus (womb).
Most women have a noticeable reduction in their periods and, for some women, periods stop altogether.
An endometrial ablation has fewer complications and a quicker recovery time than a hysterectomy.
Heavy periods can be treated using a variety of oral medications, or an IUD (intra-uterine device).
The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about 30 minutes.
Your gynaecologist will pass a hysteroscope (telescope) through your vagina, across your cervix into your womb. They will pass fluid through the telescope to swell your womb (see figure 1).
They will use electricity or laser energy to remove the lining of your womb and any polyps or small fibroids they find.
You should be able to go home the same day.
You should be able to return to normal activities after two to four days. Most women are fit for work after about a week.
You should expect to have some bleeding or discharge for up to four weeks.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
The operation is not recommended for women who still want children. However, even if your periods stop, there is still a risk of becoming pregnant.
An endometrial ablation is a common gynaecological operation. It helps relieve the symptoms of heavy periods. You should get less bleeding and pain.
Author: Mr Jeremy Hawe MBChB MRCOG
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