Surgical Procedures for Menstrual Disorders

Surgical Procedures for Menstrual Disorders

Surgery may be needed to treat problems that do not get better with other methods. The care team will talk about the risks and benefits of surgery.


Surgery is rare. It may be done to:

  • Remove an ovarian cyst.
  • Clear a blockage in the vagina
  • Fix problems of the uterus


Endometrial Ablation

Ablation destroys the lining of the uterus. Periods can happen after it is done, but the flow should be lighter. It can make it very hard to get pregnant. It may be done using:

  • Radiofrequency
  • Freezing
  • Heated fluid
  • Heated balloon
  • Microwave energy
  • Electrosurgery

The tools can be passed through the vagina to the uterus. Incisions are not needed. Ablation is not right for all types of menorrhagia.


A tube called a hysteroscope is passed through the vagina into the uterus. Tissue that is not normal can then be removed or repaired.


Hysterectomy removes the uterus. It is only done for women with severe problems. A woman no longer has periods after it. Pregnancy will not be able to happen.

Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

D&C is a scraping of the lining of the uterus. New, healthier cells will grow in place. It may ease bleeding. It is done through the vagina without incisions.

D&C is not helpful for all types of menorrhagia.


Abnormal uterine bleeding. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated October 10, 2019. Accessed November 14, 2019.
Amenorrhea. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated January 16, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2019.
Bleeding Disorders in Women. Center for Disease Control (CDC) website. Available at: Updated April 25, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2019.
Klein DA, Poth MA. Amenorrhea: an approach to diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2013 Jun 1;87(11):781-788.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Elliot M. Levine, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 11/24/2020

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