This is a procedure to treat heavy or irregular periods when a woman is sure she has finished her family and wants no more children.
Effectively it involves burning away the lining of the uterus (endometrium) causing the inside of the uterus to scar over. This means when it is time for a period, there is no endometrial lining to shed away and bleed as it has been destroyed by the ablation procedure.
After this, pregnancy must not occur and so often some sort of permanent contraception procedure will be required also to ensure pregnancy will not occur.
The ablation procedure takes about 20 minutes to perform. The endometrial cavity is checked with a camera called a hysteroscope before the ablation to ensure it looks normal, and after the ablation to make sure the result is good. The endometrium is also sampled with a curette, and is sent to pathology to be checked to make sure there are no underlying serious pre-cancerous or cancerous cells present which may mean a further hysterectomy is required.
It is normal after the endometrial ablation to experience some pink discharge which can occur for up to 4-5 weeks, and some cramping pain after the procedure for a few days. Any offensive discharge or fevers or feeling unwell should be reported to Dr Friebe as this can indicate an infection has occurred.
Overall, the procedure has a 98% chance of fixing the period problem. Most women will have no further bleeding at all – some will still have periods, but they will be significantly lighter, and a very small percentage will see no major benefit and may need to go on to have a hysterectomy for definitive management of their period problems.