Endometrial ablation is a procedure to treat very heavy menstrual bleeding or other abnormal bleeding in the uterus. During ablation, your doctor used a device to destroy the lining of your uterus. The lining heals by scarring. The scarring reduces or prevents bleeding.
You may have cramps and vaginal bleeding or spotting for several days. You may also have watery vaginal discharge for around 1 to 2 weeks.
It may take a few days to 2 weeks to recover.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
- You probably can return to work on the day after the procedure.
- You may shower and take baths as usual.
- Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex or use tampons. Do not douche.
- You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
- You may notice that your bowel movements are not regular right after the procedure. This is common. Try to avoid constipation and straining with bowel movements. You may want to take a fiber supplement every day. If you have not had a bowel movement after a couple of days, ask your doctor about taking a mild laxative.
- Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. You will also get instructions about taking any new medicines.
- If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
- Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
- If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
- If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
- If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach:
- Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
- Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
- If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
- You may have some light vaginal bleeding. Wear sanitary pads if needed.
- You may want to use a heating pad on your belly to help with pain. Use a low heat setting.
- Talk with your doctor about birth control. Endometrial ablation usually causes infertility, but pregnancy may still be possible. And the pregnancy could have severe problems.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out (lost consciousness).
- You have chest pain, are short of breath, or cough up blood.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
- You cannot pass stools or gas.
- You have vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad.
- You are sick to your stomach or cannot drink fluids.
- You have signs of infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
- A fever.
- You have severe vaginal bleeding. This means that you are soaking through your usual pads or tampons every hour for 2 or more hours.
- You have signs of a blood clot in your leg (called a deep vein thrombosis), such as:
- Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
- Redness and swelling in your leg.
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter T631 in the search box to learn more about "Endometrial Ablation: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: August 2, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kevin C. Kiley MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology