Effect of Radiofrequency Endometrial Ablation on Dysmenorrhea

Academic Article


  • Study Objective To examine rates of dysmenorrhea after radiofrequency endometrial ablation in patients with and without known dysmenorrhea symptoms prior to the procedure in a diverse population. Design Retrospective cohort study (Canadian Task Force classification II-2). Setting Academic gynecology practice. Patients A total of 307 women underwent endometrial ablation between 2007 and 2013 at our institution. Patients who had preoperative and postoperative pain symptom assessments as well as a description of pain timing recorded were included in our analysis. Exclusion criteria were age <19 years and operative biopsy findings consistent with complex atypical hyperplasia. Interventions The difference in preoperative and postoperative rates of dysmenorrhea was evaluated. Demographic information and other outcome variables were used to evaluate factors associated with resolution of dysmenorrhea. Measurements and Main Results A total of 307 patients who underwent radiofrequency endometrial ablation were identified. After exclusions, 296 charts were examined, and 144 patients met our enrollment criteria. The mean age of the study cohort was 45.4 ± 6.2 years; 57 patients (40%) were African American, 16 (11%) had a body mass index (BMI) > 40, and 41 (29%) were of normal weight. Preoperative dysmenorrhea was reported by 100 patients (69%); 48 of these patients (48%) experienced resolution of symptoms postoperatively. Only 3 of the 44 patients (7%) without preoperative dysmenorrhea reported new-onset dysmenorrhea postoperatively. Significantly fewer patients had dysmenorrhea after compared to before radiofrequency ablation (55 of 144 [38%] vs 100 of 144 [69%]; p < .001). Resolution of dysmenorrhea after ablation was associated with reduction in bleeding volume (p = .048) but not with a reduction in frequency of bleeding (p = .12). Conclusions Approximately one-half of women who undergo radiofrequency endometrial ablation to treat heavy menstrual bleeding who also have preoperative dysmenorrhea exhibit documented pain resolution after the procedure. Resolution of dysmenorrhea is more likely if menstrual flow volume is decreased postprocedure.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wyatt SN; Banahan T; Tang Y; Nadendla K; Szychowski JM; Jenkins TR
  • Start Page

  • 1163
  • End Page

  • 1166
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 7