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Hysteroscopy is a technique wherein you doctor will inspect the inside of the uterus to diagnose or treat a medical condition with the help of a thin, light, flexible tube called the hysteroscope. Two procedures are followed that include:

Diagnostic hysteroscopy- the purpose is just to diagnose the cause of the abnormality and it can be used in conjunction with laparoscopy, dilation and curettage, etc.

Operative hysteroscopy- this follows a diagnostic hysteroscopy and is performed only if an operation is needed. It’s a minimally invasive surgical technique wherein small surgical instruments are inserted with the hysteroscope to perform the operation.

Why it is performed?

Hysteroscopy is performed to diagnose or treat the following health conditions:

  • Abnormal bleeding through vagina
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Infertility
  • Repeated miscarriages
  • To diagnose/remove uterine fibroids and polyps
  • Remove adhesive uterus walls
  • Place or remove IUDs
  • To identify the condition of the uterus- uterus septum, defect in contour

How to prepare for hysteroscopy

  • During an appointment with your doctor let him know about your medical history, medicines you are taking, your health condition (high BP, blood sugar, etc. lung problems), etc.
  • You doctor will ask you about your menstrual cycle and its symptoms, if you had suffered from STD, pelvic diseases, have underdone any surgery or using an IUD.
  • Hysteroscopy will not be performed during menstruation and pregnancy
  • Doctors advice to not use tampons and douche 24 hrs before hysteroscopy
  • You might need to undergo blood tests and cervical smear tests to check for infections
  • You will be given a mild sedative, local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia depending upon the purpose of the hysteroscopy.
  • You doctor will then further advice you how long to keep your stomach empty
  • You will have to change your dress with a doctor’s gown and urinate before the test begins

How is Hysteroscopy Performed?

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Hysteroscopy takes 10-30 minutes for completion depending upon the type of hysteroscopy performed and the cause

  • A vaginal speculum is usually used to dilate the walls of your vagina for easy insertion of the hysteroscope.
  • The vagina and cervix are then rinsed with an antiseptic solution.
  • The hysteroscope is inserted smoothly through the vagina and moved through the cervix to check the uterine lining and the opening of the fallopian tube.
  • Gas or fluid is also passed through the cervix after inserting the hysteroscope to distend the endometrial cavity and get a better view
  • A camera is attached at the proximal end of the hysteroscope and the image of the inner uterus lining gets captured on the computer monitor
  • If required, a sample of tissue may also be collected for further biopsy.

What to expect after

  • You will be released from the hospital the same day until the situation demands you to stay back
  • It takes some time to get rid of the drowsy effect of anaesthesia. Make sure someone accompanies you to take you back home
  • Pain and cramping similar to that during periods is normal. Your doctor may prescribe to painkillers for relief
  • Take complete rest for a day or two
  • If you have undergone operative hysteroscopy, then you might experience mild bleeding for a few days to several weeks
  • Follow your doctor’s advice on having sex and using contraceptives. Do not use tampons
  • Check with your doctor if you experience fever, severe cramping or heavy bleeding post hysteroscopy

Risks associated with hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is a safe procedure until and unless there is accidental damage to the uterus during surgery. There could be bleeding, heavy discharge,  infection or allergy from anaesthesia

Hysteroscopy is a great way to ward off those health complications as mentioned above. Depending upon the diagnosis, your doctor will further let you know about the treatments.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 11, 2015

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