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What Is Endometrial Ablation?

If you suffer from heavy periods, a procedure known as endometrial ablation is a safe, effective way to reduce menstrual bleeding.

At Westover Hills Women’s Health, our board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, Houmam Al-Hakeem, MD, has extensive experience using endometrial ablation to treat excessive menstrual bleeding. This procedure can provide a sense of freedom for women whose heavy periods are interfering with their quality of life. 

Endometrial tissue

The inside of the female uterus is lined with cells known as endometrial tissue. During your period, the body sheds this lining of cells to begin reproducing a new lining for the next month. 

Heavy or prolonged bleeding is a common problem for women and can be resolved by burning or “ablating” the endometrial tissue. This minimally invasive procedure may help to reduce your menstrual bleeding or stop periods altogether. 

How it works

Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses targeted energy to destroy, or “ablate,” the endometrial lining of your uterus. This is done under anesthesia in a one-day surgery that does not require an overnight hospital stay.

Depending on the particulars of your case, Dr. Al-Hakeem uses one of two types of ablation: Minerva® or NovaSure®.


Minerva is a balloon-type device. Dr. Al-Hakeem uses a slender wand to insert it into your uterus. Once it is positioned, the device expands within your uterus and releases energy that destroys endometrial tissue.


NovaSure is similar to Minerva, but the NovaSure wand contains a mesh device that expands within your uterus to release targeted energy that ablates endometrial tissue.

Both procedures take just a few minutes.

What to expect

When you come in for your endometrial ablation procedure, Dr. Al-Hakeem works with a team of anesthesia and nursing staff to provide an excellent patient care experience. Patients will be asked to have nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours before and to arrive at the hospital 2 hours before the scheduled procedure. General anesthesia or “put to sleep” is used for this procedure which takes only about 20-30 minutes. 

You may return home a few hours after the procedure and may have some cramping or mild discomfort for a few days. You may also experience some nausea, bloody discharge, or frequent urination.

Because pregnancy is unlikely after endometrial ablation, it is only recommended for women who have completed their families and no longer desire pregnancy.

Get help for your heavy periods

If heavy periods are interfering with your quality of life, we would like to help. After providing a full evaluation, Dr. Al-Hakeem creates a customized treatment plan designed to meet your needs. 

To schedule an appointment for an examination at one of our two San Antonio, Texas, offices, call us today or use our online tool.

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