- Women's Health
Endometrial Ablation – A Liberating Choice
I suffered with heavy and irregular menstrual cycles for several years. Not only were the associated cramps uncomfortable, but the irregularity was very annoying and inconvenient to say the least. With the children grown and the hope of taking advantage of unscheduled weekend excursions, or enjoying spontaneous romance, imagine my disappointment when I suddenly found myself bloated, cramping, and bleeding when least expected. After complaining to my wonderfully compassionate OB GYN about these issues, she informed me of a procedure called Endometrial Ablation and sent me on my way with several pamphlets in hand, telling me to mull it over and get back to her if this was a procedure I was interested in.
Endometrial Ablation is a hormone-free procedure that destroys the endometrium (uterine lining) and eliminates or reduces uterine bleeding. Before having this procedure, you have to be absolutely sure you are not and do not want to get pregnant. At 46 year of age, and having had a tubal ligation several years prior, this was not a concern for me. Your doctor also has to make sure you are in good health, and that your symptoms are not related to anything more serious than just abnormal menstruation. I was fortunate enough to have received a clean bill of health, just a sufferer of heavy, irregular menstrual cycles.
I read the pamphlets, used the internet to research the procedure until I could research no further, and made my decision. If your research is extensive enough on any particular subject, you will come across many pros and cons and personal opinions. But I chose to ignore the cons, and focus only on the positive outcome of the procedure, and within a month I called my doctor asking her to schedule the procedure.
The procedure that my OB GYN performed comprised of inserting a slender wand that extended a wire mesh device into my uterus, destroying the endometrial lining with electrical energy. I went to the hospital first thing in the morning and was home by the early afternoon. I took my pain pills as prescribed and stayed in bed until the next day. I was still feeling groggy from the anesthesia and the pain pills, but was able to get out of bed, walk around, and use the bathroom when I needed to, but spent most of that next day in bed. By the second day, I was no longer taking the pain pills and resumed my normal activities, except for having intercourse.
During the first month after the Endometrial Ablation, I was reminded of all those cons I chose to ignore. But I still had no regrets. I experienced slight cramping for several weeks after the procedure and had a thin, bloody discharge which required the use of panty liners. After eight weeks and a follow up visit with my doctor, I was able to have intercourse. The bloody discharge continued for a good four months, but suddenly stopped. I never had a menstrual cycle again after that. For about a year, I experienced slight cramping during the time I would normally have my cycle, but that also stopped. There is only one disadvantage of the procedure that still afflicts me three years later, and that is the slight weight gain of five pounds. An extra five pounds is a welcomed disadvantage compared to the inconvenience of having a heavy, irregular menstrual cycle that was getting in the way of my normal activities, so I even hesitate to label it as a disadvantage.
There are many advantages of having this procedure which completely eliminated my heavy, irregular menstrual cycle. I no longer forego wearing white panties and slacks for fear of a sudden red stain. I can sleep in the nude every single night of the year. I no longer have cramps. I can have spontaneous intercourse whenever I want. I no longer need to purchase tampons!
My results may not be typical for everyone, and Endometrial Ablation may not be for everyone. But if you are a healthy woman who no longer desires to have children that suffers from heavy, irregular menstrual cycles, I would highly recommend discussing this procedure with your health care professional.