Endometrial ablation is an outpatient surgical procedure that is seen as an alternative to a hysterectomy for some women who are afflicted with abnormally heavy periods. Apart from the risk of complications that come with virtually any kind of surgery, the procedure is relatively safe. Nevertheless, some women have reported fluctuations in their body weight in the weeks and months after the procedure. While there aren’t any direct reasons weight gain or weight loss should happen, there are some possible indirect reasons for such a change.
While the precise cause isn’t always clear, one of the most common reasons women go to see a gynecologist is heavy menstrual flow. As a part of the normal menstruation process, the lining of the uterus (technically referred to as the endometrium) is shed during each menstrual cycle if no fertilized egg is present. Tampons and pads are normally used to absorb the viscous menstrual fluid, but in some cases the bleeding is either too substantial or it lasts longer than the customary time.
Even besides the discomfort and other symptoms associated with this kind of abnormally heavy flow, it can also be physically and psychologically burdensome if left untreated. Heavy menstrual bleeding is typically defined as bleeding that lasts for 7 days or that requires the change of a pad or tampon every 1-2 hours. In order to determine the underlying cause, the doctor will perform a physical exam and/or a vaginal ultrasound. Below are some of the more common causes:
For most cases of excessive menstrual bleeding, over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and discomfort. There are also various medications that can either promote blood clotting or regulate the hormones involved in menstruation. Also, some forms of birth control (like hormonal IUDs and traditional birth control pills) can help reduce menstrual blood flow. There are also some lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthier diet or exercise plan, that are also known to improve symptoms.
In more severe cases, though, one of the main ways to bring relief is through a hysterectomy, a medical procedure that involves the total or partial removal of the uterus and cervix. However, because of how invasive the surgery is, it is typically chosen as a last resort. Endometrial ablation is an alternative procedure that is minimally invasive and effective about 85-90% of the time. Yet even though the uterus remains intact, having the procedure still does make pregnancy less likely in the future.
The basic goal of the ablation procedure is to eliminate the endometrial tissue that lines the uterine wall. By removing or destroying this tissue, the normal structure and function of the endometrium gets disrupted and is therefore less likely to respond to the hormonal signals that promote menstruation. There are a number of different techniques that can be used, and the decision of which one to use is typically based on the patient’s overall health and the size and shape of the uterus. Below are the most common types:
Although endometrial ablation is minimally invasive, the procedure can have a number of side effects like bloating, cramps, or nausea. There is also a chance that excessive bleeding could lead to anemia. Some women have reported weight loss after the procedure, though nothing about the procedure is directly associated with weight loss. Below are some potential indirect effects that could potentially lead to a weight change:
The bottom line: there isn’t much of a connection between endometrial ablation and weight loss. But weight loss remains a major goal for many Americans. At True You, we are passionate about providing a new path to long-term success that just isn’t possible with traditional methods like diet and exercise. To learn more about how True You can help you find the freedom you’ve been looking for, please contact us today to request a consultation.