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Solving Heavy Periods with Endometrial ablation

1.Endometrial ablation is a destructive procedure to the lining of the uterus so that menstrual periods will stop. It is not contraception, but a cure for heavy periods, in women who no longer want children.

2. You have a choice of technologies and devices, your gyno can help you sort through what may be best for you. The devices have been improving since the technology was first explored in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. The concept is to use thermal damage to the uterine lining so that there is no monthly regeneration of the lining. Thus, regardless of the ovarian hormonal cycles, after an ablation, there is no build up the uterine lining, and thus menstrual periods are halted.

3. Still plan your contraceptive method after you get contraception. Although endometrial ablations are not a contraceptive method, the uterus is no longer hospitable to a developing egg and thus it is very unlikely a woman will be fertile after an endometrial ablation

4. You will be successfully cured of your heavy periods if you do have an endometrial ablation, only 3-5 percent of women fail and are actually bleeding more heavily, but this takes time! Up to one year to be successful in a small percent of women.

5. Polyps, uterine fibroids, lining overgrowth called hyperplasia may all be treated by these endometrial ablation procedures, but you have to consider alternatives. The procedures done are very successful, and have been able to treat a wide range of gynecologic patients, but the newest devices like the new NovaSure and the Minerva device have improved the design with accompanying increase in success.

6. The devices for the procedure have been evolving and are getting better. They are also safer. Prior to the development of the new Minerva device, the Thermachoice device was the first device that used heated fluid to distribute the energy to the uterine lining, this balloon device is no longer on the market. Next. the NovaSure device had been the most successful endometrial ablation technology to date, and has a great safety record as well. The NovaSure device does a check of the placement, and this innovation increased the safety significantly. Minerva device has now been shown to have slightly better results in some studies.There are even procedures that can be done through the hysterscope, your gyno can help you determine what will be best

7. These ablation procedures can be done in a simple office setting. The endometrial ablation techniques can be done in the office or in an outpatient surgical setting to increase the comfort and lower the cost while maintaining safety for patients.

8. Biopsy procedures should be done before the ablation to be sure you do not have any condition that shouldn’t have an ablation such as uterine cancer, but will still not rule out cancers of any fibroids, the fallopian tubes, or the ovaries.

Call for an appointment! 217-356-3736. The exact technology available will vary, and most women will have a successful therapy regardless. First be sure you are having your heavy bleeding evaluated so that you are giving yourself the best chance for successful therapy. If you have had a hysterectomy recommended, you may want to see what your alternatives actually are, and whether you would be eligible for medication therapy as well.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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