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 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.
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.
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.
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.