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Health Information Center

Endometrial Ablation

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Endometrial Ablation


Endometrial ablation destroys tissue in the lining of the uterus.

Reasons for Procedure

This procedure is done to lighten heavy menstrual periods when other methods have not helped. In some people, it may stop menstrual flow.

It should not be done on people who plan to become pregnant in the future.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Infection
  • Damage to nearby structures, such as the uterus, vagina, or bowel
  • Fluid buildup and swelling

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity

What to Expect

Problems to Look Out For

Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Menstrual flow that does not get lighter after 2 to 3 periods
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Severe pain that you cannot control with medicine
  • Pain when passing stool (poop) or urine (pee)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Pain or tenderness in the calf or leg

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

Prior to Procedure

The surgical team will meet with you to talk about:

  • Anesthesia options
  • Any allergies you may have
  • Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
  • Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
  • Arranging for a ride to and from surgery
  • Any plans you may have for a future pregnancy




  • Endometrial ablation. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/endometrial-ablation.
  • Endometrial ablation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/endometrial-ablation.


  • Elizabeth Margaret Prusak, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.