Hysteroscopy is a surgical approach your doctor may employ to examine the lining of your uterus. A thin viewing tool called a hysteroscope is utilised. The tip of the hysteroscope is put into the vagina and gently moved through the cervix into the uterus. The hysteroscope has a light and camera hooked to it so your doctor can see the uterine lining (endometrium) on a video screen.

A hysteroscopy may be performed to identify the cause of abnormal bleeding or bleeding that occurs after a woman has passed menopause. It also may be indicated to assess whether a problem in your uterus is preventing you from becoming pregnant (infertility). A hysteroscopy can be used to excise growths in the uterus, such as fibroids or uterine polyps, and is the gold standard test for excluding cancer of the endometrium.

A small sample of tissue (a biopsy) may be collected for pathology testing purposes. This sample is then looked at under a microscope for problems by a pathologist. In the setting of infertility, another surgery, called a laparoscopy, may also be carried out at the same time as a hysteroscopy in order to identify a causative factor.

Who should have a Hysteroscopy?

A hysteroscopy may be done to:

  • Find the cause of severe cramping or abnormal bleeding
  • See whether a problem in the shape or size of the uterus or if scar tissue in the uterus is the cause of infertility
  • Look at the uterine openings to the fallopian tubes
  • Find the possible cause of repeated miscarriages
  • Find and remove a misplaced intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Find and remove fibroids or polyps
  • Check for endometrial cancer
  • Use heated tools to remove problem areas in the lining of the uterus (endometrial ablation)
  • Place a contraceptive implant (such as Essure) into the opening of the fallopian tubes

What may I expect after the Hysteroscopy?

If regional or general anesthesia is used during your procedure, you may have to be observed for several hours before going home. You may experience some cramping or minor vaginal bleeding for one to two days after the procedure. Additionally, you may experience shoulder pain if you also had a Laparoscopy at the same time as your Hysteroscopy.  This is due to gas irritating the diaphragm, and will resolve spontaneously over time. Feeling somewhat faint or sick is not unusual.  However, if you experience fever, severe abdominal pain or heavy bleeding and discharge you should contact your surgeon immediately.

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