What is a Hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is used to diagnose and treat problems of the uterus. A hysteroscope is a long, thin, lighted device which is inserted into your uterus through your vagina. It projects an image on a screen and lets the physician see your uterus.
Why is it Important?
Hysteroscopy is commonly used as a diagnostic tool (for possible causes of infertility) or for treatment. It is recommended when a woman has a history of abnormal uterine bleeding, removal of scar tissue, called adhesions, to locate an intrauterine device (IUD), or to perform sterilization by blocking the fallopian tubes.
How is Hysteroscopy Performed?
Prior to the procedure, your doctor may prescribe a sedative to help you relax. You will then be prepared for anesthesia. The procedure itself takes place in the following order:
- The doctor will dilate (widen) your cervix to allow the hysteroscope to be inserted.
- The hysteroscope is inserted through your vagina and cervix into the uterus.
- Carbon dioxide gas or a liquid solution is then inserted into the uterus, through the hysteroscope, to expand it and to clear away any blood or mucus.
- Next, a light shone through the hysteroscope allows your doctor to see your uterus and the openings of the fallopian tubes into the uterine cavity.
- Finally, if surgery needs to be performed, small instruments are inserted into the uterus through the hysteroscope.
Most women feel they can return to normal activities, including work, the day after having a hysteroscopy. However, you may wish to have a few days off to rest, particularly if you had treatment such as fibroids removal.