Hysteroscopy is a medical procedure that allows a healthcare provider to examine the inside of the uterus using a thin, lighted instrument called a hysteroscope. This procedure can be both diagnostic and therapeutic, as it provides a visual assessment of the uterine cavity and can be used to perform various treatments. Here are some key points about hysteroscopy:
- Hysteroscopy is typically performed on an outpatient basis, either in a clinic or an operating room, depending on the specific circumstances. It may be done under local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure and the patient’s preference.
- Types of Hysteroscopy:
- Diagnostic Hysteroscopy: This type of hysteroscopy is used to visually examine the uterine cavity for diagnostic purposes. A thin hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina and cervix into the uterus, allowing the healthcare provider to visualize the lining and structures of the uterus.
- Operative Hysteroscopy: In addition to visual examination, operative hysteroscopy allows for the performance of various surgical procedures within the uterine cavity. This can include removing polyps, fibroids, or adhesions, correcting structural abnormalities, or placing devices such as intrauterine devices (IUDs).
- Hysteroscopy may be recommended for various reasons, including:
- Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Hysteroscopy can help identify the cause of abnormal or heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Infertility Evaluation: It may be used to investigate the causes of infertility, such as uterine abnormalities or adhesions.
- Recurrent Miscarriages: Hysteroscopy can assess the uterine cavity for abnormalities that may contribute to recurrent pregnancy loss.
- Polyps or Fibroids: Hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose and remove polyps or fibroids located within the uterine cavity.
- Adhesions or Scar Tissue: It can help diagnose and treat intrauterine adhesions or scar tissue.
- After hysteroscopy, you may experience mild cramping or vaginal spotting for a few days. Recovery time is usually short, and you can typically resume your normal activities within a day or two. Complications from hysteroscopy are rare but may include infection, bleeding, or injury to the uterus or surrounding structures.
- Depending on the findings and any procedures performed during hysteroscopy, your healthcare provider will discuss the results with you and provide appropriate guidance or treatment. Follow-up appointments may be scheduled as needed to monitor your progress or address any ongoing concerns.
It’s important to have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider to understand the specific indications, benefits, risks, and expected outcomes of hysteroscopy in your particular case.