The fact is that most women who have EA are in the 30's to late 40's age group, and that age group is one that experiences a wide range of hormonal fluctuations, most are either in their peak reproductive years (early 30's), coming out of their peak reproductive years (mid-late 30's), and/or approaching peri-menopause (early 40's onward), which all can create hormonal imbalances. If women are experiencing extreme or noticeable emotional issues, it is most likely due to something other than the actual EA procedure.
Hormones can fluctuate from month to month, which is why our cycles can run anywhere from 20-something days to 30- something days long and the actual periods can fluctuate from a few days to over a week long sometimes. This is again, especially in our 30's and 40's. Some months you may experience extreme bloat and moodiness, other months may be a piece of cake and you're surprised to see you period show up without the typical warning signs.
The body is an amazing machine, always changing, always surprising us!
So here are some Q&A's to help clear up some myths that may be confusing some members.
1. Can having an EA cause a hormone imbalance afterward?
An EA is, simply put, a physical procedure that cauterizes the uterine lining, destroying the lining or thinning it significantly, rendering it unable to host an embryo. The EA process, no matter which method you have, does not in any way harm or affect one's hormonal system.
Here is a quote from a good informational link -
Does one go through menopause right after endometrial ablation?
No, endometrial ablation does not cause menopause. Since endometrial ablation only treats the lining of the uterine cavity, it does not affect the ovaries. The ovaries are the organs that produce the female hormone estrogen and progesterone.
2. Why do some women experience crying, emotional lows and/or depression symptoms immediately after having their EA procedure?
Depending on how one reacts to anesthesia, one will feel no adverse affects following their EA procedure, or they may feel down, a bit depressed or not quite themselves until the anesthesia wears off and is completely out of their system. Again, this is not caused by the EA procedure, but feeling out of sorts right after an EA is more than likely attributed to one's reaction to the anesthesia. It is also possible that since we are restricted regarding certain physical activity due to doctor's orders after a routine surgery, this can also frustrate us and make us feel out of sorts until we can get back to our normal activities and routines.
3. Some women say they experience depression after an EA, why is that?
If a woman experiences prolonged symptoms (ie: after the anesthesia has worn off) of depression after her EA procedure, again, it is not a result of the EA procedure. There can be many things contributing to one's psyche and mental health state, but again, the EA procedure has no direct bearing on this. It is more than likely that such women are already dealing with emotional issues and having a medical procedure might exacerbate these feelings for any number of reasons. For example, it is possible for some women to realize after their procedure, that they are no longer able to reproduce. Yes, this issue is usually discussed prior to one's EA procedure, however, it is possible that the reality of the end of one's reproductive viability after an EA might cause some women to feel temporarily saddened. There are countless reasons as to why one would feel depressed, but again, they are not a direct result of having an EA procedure. In such cases, it is important for patients to own their psychological symptoms and seek timely treatment from a trained and licensed psychologist or psychiatrist to get to the root cause of such issues, because they are not a result of an EA procedure.
Feelings of depression and sadness after EA can also be attributed to a feeling of 'letdown' after anticipating the surgery and hoping for the best outcome. In some cases, it takes several weeks/cycles to find out where a woman's results end up after this procedure. Sometimes it takes a lot of patience and time after the healing process to see the results we can be happy with.
4. Will taking an anti-depressant cure me of feeling out of sorts after my EA?
Anti-depressants are to treat specific, medically trained and diagnosed mental health and emotional issues, and even in those cases, a pill does not cure or address the underlying causes of one's depression. But an anti-depressant can help a woman get over the overwhelming hurdle of addressing underlying emotional issues and make it easier to address these issues. Women experiencing symptoms of depression should seek timely medical attention to determine the potential cause(s) of their depression, and then work towards addressing whatever issues they are grappling with. But again, anti-depressants are not used post EA because of the EA procedure, they would be prescribed to someone who is dealing with other mental health and/or emotional issues.
5. Can I get a diagnosis or medical guidance here on this site?
This site is only meant for peer to peer support in dealing with a common medical issue. The support given is from personal experience of those who have been through a similar situation. Any signs or symptoms, whether physical or emotional should be immediately directed to a medical professional first. This site is for support and to provide shared experiences, but it should never be used as a frontline method to determine whether or not you are experiencing something that is normal or out of the normal range. Only your physician can make that determination based on their medical knowledge, experience, and understanding of you as a patient.
While it helps to get the input from others who have had a similar experience, when in doubt, always consult your physician regarding any concern, question, or problem you have regarding your procedure, recovery and outcome.
Thank you for taking the time to read up on the myths and facts about Endometrial Ablation and hormones.
Best of luck to all of you!