What are Endometrial Ablation Side Effects? (with pictures)

Angela Crout-Mitchell
Angela Crout-Mitchell
Common side effects of endometrial ablation include pain and cramping.
Common side effects of endometrial ablation include pain and cramping.

The most common endometrial ablation side effects include fever, cramping, and nausea immediately following the surgery. It is also not uncommon for women undergoing this procedure to experience fatigue and frequent urination for a short time, typically only a few days, after the ablation surgery. Patients are advised that pregnancy after an endometrial ablation is unlikely, though if it does occur, there is a high risk of miscarriage. An endometrial or uterine ablation is usually performed for women with irregular menstrual cycles, characterized by unusually large amounts of blood loss during the cycle. The surgery is often performed for patients with conditions such as endometriosis, and is only done after other more conservative treatments have failed.

An endometrial ablation is usually performed for women with irregular menstrual cycles and heavy bleeding during menstruation.
An endometrial ablation is usually performed for women with irregular menstrual cycles and heavy bleeding during menstruation.

An endometrial ablation procedure is designed to destroy a thin layer of the uterus lining, often resulting in infertility. After the biological tissue is removed, the patient's menstrual cycle either stops entirely or is greatly reduced in severity and the amount of blood lost. There are several ablation methods available and include freezing the lining layer, the use of heated liquid, and laser surgery, among others.

It is not uncommon for women who undergo endometrial ablation to experience fatigue.
It is not uncommon for women who undergo endometrial ablation to experience fatigue.

Most patients experience the common endometrial ablation side effects such as pain, cramping, and nausea. In most cases, these symptoms are short lived and are often present for around four days. Low grade fevers are frequently experienced by ablation patients, along with feelings of fatigue. Many women notice a thin, watery, bloody discharge in the hours and days following surgery as well. Like the other common endometrial ablation side effects, these effects aren't usually long lasting and the patient recovers quickly.

Nausea is one possible side effect of having an endometrial ablation.
Nausea is one possible side effect of having an endometrial ablation.

Women recommended for endometrial ablation are advised early in the process that this procedure will most likely cause infertility, though pregnancy can occur rarely. In the event of pregnancy after endometrial ablation, most pregnancies will spontaneously abort, or miscarry. Even in these cases, the physical danger to the woman is minimal; however, most doctors are concerned with the emotional health of the patient. For this reason, some doctors suggest ablation patients use alternate forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy following recovery from the procedure.

An endometrial ablation will only be performed if more conservative treatments for endometriosis fail.
An endometrial ablation will only be performed if more conservative treatments for endometriosis fail.

While most patients recover from the surgery with little to no difficulty, there has been evidence of more serious endometrial ablation side effects. Patients have complained of menstrual-like pain from cramping, fatigue, and back pain that occurs months after the procedure. Other potential but rare risks possible with endometrial ablation also include both infection from the surgery and long term, heavy bleeding.

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Discussion Comments

anon966072

Since having Novasure ablation in March I've had painful urination. I've been taking D-Mannose and concerned this is only helping to mask a more serious issue. Anyone else having urinary pain since having this done?

anon358031

I had an ablation done a few days ago and the first day was horrible. I got extremely sick from all the pain killers so I quit taking them. I have no issues as of now, three days later, other than I feel nauseated every day. I have a slight discharge, but no back aches or cramps -- I'm just dizzy and feel like I'm going to vomit on a daily basis, although I don't. Hopefully this goes away soon.

anon348112

I had the ablation done five days ago. The pain has gotten progressively worse. I feel like I am about to give birth. I'm so bloated that my clothes don't fit and I am experiencing pretty severe abdominal and lower back pain.

The bleeding/discharge hasn't been too bad, very light. I'm worried about the bloating, though. My doctor never told me to expect this.

anon332986

I had this done 10 days ago and am still very tired feeling (to an unusual degree) and the watery discharge I hear so much about is so heavy that I have to wear overnight pads all day, changing every hour or two because they are soaked.

I am now having back and side pain and have a very full feeling like you do when you are big pregnant and fixing to go into labor and feel like a walking Macy's Day parade balloon.

I went back to work three days ago after taking a week off, but it is very hard to get through the day. I feel like I can barely lift my arms or walk around. Is this normal? From everything I read, after three days I should have been up and running around skydiving and teaching aerobics classes.

anon298237

I had this done 11 days ago and had period-like pains for a couple of days. I'm still getting watery discharge, but I also have an awful backache. It feels like when I was in labor with my last child who was born face up, so it was a back to back delivery, so I have not had a good nights sleep since it's been done. I'm really hoping this goes away because I have to go back to work next week so I won't be able to catnap during the day anymore. I'm not sure what to do!

anon162219

I had ea done almost two weeks ago and all went really well. A little bit of pain the evening after surgery and the next day, relieved by only three panadol fort over 24 hours. I had a little bit of spotting. I had a period, very light, back to a tiny bit of pink discharge.

I'm waiting to see what next month brings. I'm nearly 44, have had heavy periods all my life, wish i had done this much sooner, would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone who has finished having children and totally over having periods!

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    • Common side effects of endometrial ablation include pain and cramping.
      Common side effects of endometrial ablation include pain and cramping.
    • An endometrial ablation is usually performed for women with irregular menstrual cycles and heavy bleeding during menstruation.
      An endometrial ablation is usually performed for women with irregular menstrual cycles and heavy bleeding during menstruation.
    • It is not uncommon for women who undergo endometrial ablation to experience fatigue.
      It is not uncommon for women who undergo endometrial ablation to experience fatigue.
    • Nausea is one possible side effect of having an endometrial ablation.
      Nausea is one possible side effect of having an endometrial ablation.
    • An endometrial ablation will only be performed if more conservative treatments for endometriosis fail.
      An endometrial ablation will only be performed if more conservative treatments for endometriosis fail.
    • Frequent urination is a common effect of endometrial ablation.
      Frequent urination is a common effect of endometrial ablation.
    • Patients are advised that pregnancy after an endometrial ablation is unlikely, though if it does occur, there is a high risk of miscarriage.
      Patients are advised that pregnancy after an endometrial ablation is unlikely, though if it does occur, there is a high risk of miscarriage.