Will Endometrial Ablation Cause Infertility?

Will Endometrial Ablation Cause Infertility?

Menorrhagia is the clinical term for abnormally heavy bleeding during your menstrual cycle. You could also bleed for longer than seven days at a time, putting you at risk for anemia.

Most cases of menorrhagia are caused by a uterine lining, also known as the endometrium, that’s too thick. A procedure called endometrial ablation removes the uterine lining so your periods are lighter and easier to tolerate. 

But after endometrial ablation, pregnancy could be dangerous to you and the fetus. Before undergoing ablation, you must be sure you don’t want any or any more children.

Expert OB/GYN Sharon Smith, MD, performs endometrial ablation as an outpatient procedure at OBGYN Care in Houston, Texas. To find out if you’re a candidate for this 35-40 minute procedure to alleviate menorrhagia, read on. 

Are you in perimenopause?

Menorrhagia usually develops when you enter the perimenopausal period of your life, which typically starts in your early 40s, but could begin sooner or later. Perimenopause is the time when your hormone levels begin to shift and your estrogen drops in preparation for menopause and the end of your fertility.

One of the most common symptoms of menorrhagia during perimenopause is bleeding for more than a week at a time, rather than the usual 4-7 days of a normal menstrual cycle. 

Not only is such excessive bleeding uncomfortable and draining, it puts you at risk for anemia, which means you don’t have enough iron in your blood to function well.

If you still hope to become pregnant and plan to undergo fertility treatments, endometrial ablation is not the solution for your heavy periods. Instead, we may try to regulate your cycle with short-term hormonal birth control.

Are you younger, but in distress?

If you’re still under 40 but your periods are so heavy that you’re at risk for, or have, anemia, you could benefit from endometrial ablation, but only if you’re 100% certain that you don’t ever want to become pregnant.

After the procedure, some remnants of the uterine lining could remain, so if you and/or your partner aren’t sterilized, or if you forget your birth control, you could become pregnant. The baby, though, would not have enough of a lining in which to develop, which could cause a miscarriage and serious complications for you, too.

Dr. Smith will only agree to perform endometrial ablation on young women who are committed to not becoming pregnant. Ideally, you or your partner should be sterilized. If you’re not, Dr. Smith can tie your tubes at the same time she performs endometrial ablation. 

If you’re not in perimenopause, one endometrial ablation may not be enough to end your long periods. You could need a second ablation a few years down the road.

Are you sure you don’t want children?

Once your endometrial lining is destroyed, it doesn’t grow back to fully line your uterus again. That’s why you must be 100% certain that you have no desire to become pregnant before undergoing endometrial ablation. 

If you’ve completed your family and want relief from heavy bleeding, contact our Houston, Texas, office today by phone or online form to request an appointment.

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