What is hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look inside your uterus in order to diagnose and treat causes of abnormal bleeding or other conditions. Hysteroscopy is done using a hysteroscope, a thin, lighted tube that is inserted into the vagina to examine the cervix and inside of the uterus. Hysteroscopy can be either diagnostic or operative. If you’re still having periods you should make sure there’s no chance that you’re pregnant at the time of your procedure by using contraception.
What is diagnostic hysteroscopy?
Diagnostic hysteroscopy is used to diagnose problems of the uterus. Diagnostic hysteroscopy is often done as an outpatient procedure. You won’t need to stay in hospital overnight and you’ll be awake during your procedure. You may have local anaesthesia. You may be asked to take painkillers such as ibuprofen (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine) about an hour before your procedure. In some women, the procedure may have to be done under general anaesthetic.
What is operative hysteroscopy?
Operative hysteroscopy is used to correct an abnormal condition that has been detected during a diagnostic hysteroscopy. If an abnormal condition was detected during the diagnostic hysteroscopy, an operative hysteroscopy can often be performed at the same time, avoiding the need for a second surgery or you will be booked for the procedure to be done under general anaesthetic. During operative hysteroscopy, small instruments used to correct the condition are inserted through the hysteroscope.
When will one need operative hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy can be used to correct or treat the following uterine conditions:
Polyps and fibroids —Hysteroscopy is used to remove these non-cancerous growths found in the uterus.
Adhesions —Also known as Asherman’s Syndrome, uterine adhesions are bands of scar tissue that can form in the uterus and may lead to changes in menstrual flow as well as subfertility. Hysteroscopy can help your doctor locate and remove the adhesions.
Septums— Hysteroscopy can help determine whether you have a uterine septum, a malformation of the uterus that is present from birth.
Abnormal bleeding— Hysteroscopy can help identify the cause of heavy or lengthy menstrual flow, as well as bleeding between periods or after menopause. Endometrial ablation is one procedure in which the hysteroscope, along with other instruments, is used to destroy the uterine lining to treat some causes of heavy bleeding.
How safe is hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is a relatively safe procedure. However, as with any type of surgery, complications are possible. With hysteroscopy, complications occur in less than 1 percent of cases and can include:
Risks associated with anaesthesia,
Injury to the cervix, uterus, bowel or bladder,
Reaction to the substance used to expand the uterus.
What to expect after hysteroscopy?
It’s normal to have some mild period-like cramping pains and some bleeding for a few days after your hysteroscopy. If you need pain relief, you can take simple painkiller like Paracetamol.
After your hysteroscopy, you may feel ready to go back to work the next day, or you may need to rest and take it easy for a day or two.
Most women don’t have any problems after having a hysteroscopy. However, contact the clinician or hospital, if you develop any of the following symptoms:
Vaginal discharge that is dark or smells unpleasant,
Severe pain or pain that lasts for more than 48 hours,
A high temperature.