How a Hysteroscopy Can See and Solve Problems

As a woman, your role in reproduction places unique and sometimes substantial demands on your body. Keeping healthy requires similarly unique diagnostic techniques. Your uterus is, of course, the center around which your reproductive role revolves, and its wellness is an important part of your overall health through the years you’re able to conceive.

Hysteroscopy is a dedicated procedure designed to help diagnose and treat problems with your uterus. Using a lighted scope-like instrument called a hysteroscope, the procedure permits a gynecologist to see the inside of the uterus and, when necessary, perform certain procedures.

Reasons for hysteroscopy

Abnormal uterine bleeding is perhaps the most common reason for an examination using a hysteroscope. This could include heavier than normal menstrual periods or bleeding between periods, each of which could be caused by benign growths in the uterus, such as fibroids and polyps.

Women who have had multiple miscarriages may have a hysteroscopy to investigate reasons for the nonviable pregnancies. The hysteroscope can also be used to locate displaced intrauterine devices (IUDs) or to remove scar tissue, which may result from previous surgeries or infections. Fallopian tube blocks can be placed during hysteroscopy as a permanent contraceptive procedure.

Hysteroscopy can also be used to collect tissue biopsies to investigate the uterine lining in a lab setting, useful for diagnosing problems with the endometrium, the lining of the inner uterine walls.

What to expect during hysteroscopy

Some conditions can interfere with or prevent a hysteroscopy. You can’t have the procedure if you’re pregnant. Bloated bladder, pelvic inflammatory disease, an inflamed cervix, or vaginal discharge can interfere with the hysteroscopy, so your procedure may begin with an examination to confirm none of these are present.

Some form of sedation or anesthetic is administered for your comfort. Hysteroscopy can be performed under either local or general anesthetic conditions. Your cervix may be dilated to ease the insertion of the hysteroscope, and gas or liquid may be injected to expand the uterine walls for easier examination.

If your hysteroscopy is combined with a procedure requiring tools, such as a biopsy or fibroid removal, specially designed tools are introduced through the hysteroscope to perform these functions.

Recovering from hysteroscopy

Immediately after the procedure, your recovery is largely based on the type of anesthetic used. If your procedure is done under general anesthetic, you’re monitored until your vital signs stabilize. You’ll need a ride home afterward, as the anesthetic interferes with your ability to drive.

There’s little other care necessary after the procedure, though you may experience cramping or bleeding after the procedure. Severe abdominal pain or heavy bleeding particularly when accompanied by fever requires immediate medical care, but this is a rare complication from hysteroscopy.

You’ll need to abstain from intercourse for a period after your procedure as directed by your caregiver. Feminine hygiene care, such as vaginal douches are also off limits for the same period, usually about two weeks.

Dr. Andrea Olanescu and the team at the Medical Care for Women are ready to help you when you need the diagnostic and functional benefits of this procedure. Call the most convenient office directly or use the request an appointment tool on our website to arrange your personal consultation today.

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