Is Endometrial Ablation Moral Option for Heavy Bleeding?

Question

I have very heavy menstrual bleeding and its very unpleasant, embarrassing. This condition affects how I feel, the clothing I wear, and where and when to take vacations. It leaves me tired and anxious.
There is now a new approach to treating heavy menstrual bleeding for women who are past their child-bearing years. The treatment, which is a form of endometrial ablation, is safe and stops or significantly decreases menstrual blood flow in most women.

Endometrial ablation is a way to specifically destroy the lining of the uterus, which is the source of the menstrual flow. This new approach, marketed under the name NovaSure, uses electrical energy to cauterize (or heat) the lining of the uterus, which is then sloughed off by the body.

Is this procedure ok’d by the Catholic church? I’m a mother of three and I did not use birth control before my periods started getting really heavy. My doctor recommended the IUD and at that time I made a bad choice not knowing how harmful it was.

I have a doctors appointment to get it removed. I’m just looking for different options.

Sandra

Answer

Dear Sandra,

In light of Catholic teaching, if you are truly past child-bearing age then endometrial ablation might be a good treatment to treat your abnormal bleeding. If there is a chance of conception, then it should be the very last option before hysterectomy as it will adversely affect fertility. After such a procedure, natural family planning should be used to avoid conception since the lining of the uterus will be altered so that it will no longer be a luxuriant, inviting environment for an embryo seeking to implant there.

In health,

George Delgado, M.D.

Answered By:

George Delgado, M.D., F.A.A.F.P.
President and Founder of Steno Institute and Medical Director of Culture of Life Family Services (COLFS), San Diego, is a Professional Member / Supporter of CANFP. Board certified in both family medicine and hospice and palliative medicine, Dr. Delgado received his medical degree from the University of California, Davis, and completed his residency at Santa Monica Hospital/UCLA. Dr. Delgado is a Natural Family Planning Medical Consultant, trained in NaProTechnology.

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