Hysteroscopy is used to diagnose or to treat problems of the uterus. One of the most common uses for hysteroscopy is to find the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. Abnormal bleeding can mean that a woman’s menstrual periods are heavier or longer than usual or occur less or more frequently than normal. Bleeding between menstrual periods also is abnormal.
If you have an abnormal uterine bleeding, a hysteroscopy is often the best method to diagnose the underlying cause of your problem.
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Questions and answers about hysteroscopy
What is a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is a minor surgical procedure that helps gynecologists to determine the underlying cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. The procedure is carried out with a hysteroscope, a thin, lighted telescope-like device that’s inserted into the vagina and transmits clear, magnified images to a video monitor in real time.
Hysteroscopy is used to examine your cervix, the inside of your uterus, and the openings of each fallopian tube. It may be used to diagnose, as well as to treat a condition, often in the same act.
What conditions can be treated with a hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is routinely used to diagnose and treat the cause of heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding. This usually involves having an endometrial biopsy during the procedure.
A hysteroscopy is also used to diagnose and treat:
- Polyps and fibroids, or benign uterine growths
- Adhesions, or uterine scar tissue
- Uterine septum, or malformation of the uterus
- To diagnose endometrial hyperplasia, uterine cancer and sometimes cervical cancer
A hysteroscopy can be done to help determine the cause of repeated miscarriages or remove tissue following pregnancy loss. It can also be helpful when removing an intrauterine device (IUD).
When is a hysteroscopy performed?
A hysteroscopy is best to be scheduled about one week after your menstrual period, when your gynecologist will have the best view of your uterus. For postmenopausal women, hysteroscopy may be performed at any time.
What kind of anesthesia is used for hysteroscopy?
Regional or general anesthesia is reserved for women who cannot tolerate a procedure under local or intravenous anesthesia, such as patients who require extensive operative procedures or who have other medical comorbidities. Patients with comorbidities may require intensive monitoring in an operating room, even when local anesthesia or conscious sedation is planned.
How will i feel after a hysteroscopy?
You may have postoperative cramping or light vaginal bleeding for several days. Some women complain of vaginal discomfort. Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are usually adequate for postoperative pain control, if necessary. You may resume most normal activities within 24 hours.