What to Expect from Microwave Endometrial Ablation

November 12, 2012

What to Expect from Microwave Endometrial Ablation

A microwave endometrial ablation refers to a special procedure that is used for the treatment of heavy menstruation. In general, microwaves will be used in treating the uterus lining in order to reduce or completely stop the menstrual flow as needed. However, this procedure is only used for women who don’t have plans of having children in the future – remember that.

A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. The woman will be lightly sedated.
  2. A small applicator will be passed into her uterus through her cervical canal.
  3. A microwave current with high frequency will be applied, so that the uterus lining heats up.

That’s it! The microwave endometrial ablation usually only takes less than five minutes to complete.

The Post-Treatment Procedure

Several hours after a microwave endometrial ablation, women will be allowed to go home. They might experience some mild cramps after the procedure, but this is easy to treat with the right medication. 24 hours after the procedure, women can start doing their normal activities, as well. However, it would be highly advisable for them to take a couple of days off of work, as well as to avoid doing anything strenuous for an entire week. Tampons and sex should be avoided during this week, too. During the first month after the procedure, women might also notice a watery type of vaginal discharge or light bleeding, which might require the use of menstrual pads. Then, after three months, they will have to go back to the hospital for a proper post-operative checkup.

Potential Complications

As with any other medical procedures out there, a microwave endometrial ablation might result in complications, though these are very rare. The most common complication for this procedure would be a slight infection, which is easy to treat with the right antibiotics. Other potential complications would include the following:

  • Physical internal organ or uterus damage
  • An allergic reaction to the anesthesia
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain

In any of these cases, a doctor should be notified right away. And, if any physical damage has occurred, women might have to go back for another operation, as well.


Overall, the success of a microwave endometrial ablation will vary from woman to woman. However, 50% of the women who undergo this procedure end up without menstruation, while 80% end up experience lighter and shorter menstrual cycles. Some women have reported less pain during their period, as well.


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