What is Hysteroscopy?
- Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows looking inside the uterus.
- It is done using a hysteroscope (a long narrow instrument with a lens at one end).
- The tip of the tool is inserted into your vagina and gently moved through the cervix into the uterus.
When is Hysteroscopy used?
Hysteroscopy is used in the following cases:-
- It is a technique which is often used in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility.
- It helps the doctor to locate and remove the uterine adhesions which are bands of scar tissue that can develop in the uterus and may lead to changes in menstrual flow as well as infertility.
- It can help determine whether you have a uterine septum, a malformation of the uterus that is present from birth.
- It can also be used to remove non-cancerous growths such as fibroids or polyps, in the uterus.
- The procedure may be done to find the cause of abnormal bleeding (heavy or lengthy menstrual flow) or bleeding that occurs after a woman has passed menopause.
- To take out the coil, or an intra-uterine system (IUS), that has moved out of place.
- To carry out a permanent form of sterilization (contraception).
What are the preparations to be done before the procedure?
Some of the preparations to be done before the proceedings are as following:-
- A hysteroscopy is best done when you are not having your menstrual period.
- It should be done before you are ovulating so the doctor can check for pregnancy as the procedure can be risky for your developing baby.
- Do not use tampons or use vaginal medicines for 24 hours before the procedure.
- You should inform your doctor if you:
- Are taking any medicines or allergic to any.
- Have taken any blood-thinners such as aspirin.
- Have been treated for a vaginal, cervical or pelvic infection in the past six weeks.
- Have any heart or lung problems.
- To relax you the doctor may give you a sedative or anesthesia.
- You should arrange for someone to take you home after the procedure if you are given anesthesia.
- You will be required to stop eating or drinking some time before the proceedings (approx.8 hrs.), and you will have to empty your bladder one hour before the surgery.
- You will need to leave your jewellery at home as any jewellery you wear will need to be taken off before the surgery.
- Remove the glasses, contacts, and dentures or a removable bridge before the procedure.
What is the necessary treatment procedure?
To prepare you for the process a sedative (medicine) or anesthesia will be administered to numb the area, to help you relax, or to help you sleep. Then the process takes place in the following order:-
- The doctor will insert a speculum (lubricated tool) into your vagina.
- The speculum gently spreads apart the vaginal walls, so the physician has a clear view of the inside of the vagina and the cervix. Later your vagina will be cleansed with a special soap.
- The hysteroscope will be then inserted through your vagina and cervix into the uterus.
- A liquid solution or carbon dioxide gas is then inserted into the uterus, through the hysteroscope to expand it and clear away any lining (blood or mucus).
- Then, a light shone through the hysteroscope allows the doctor to see the uterus and the opening of fallopian tubes into the uterine cavity.
- Finally, if a biopsy or any surgery needs to be performed, small instruments are inserted into the uterus through the hysteroscope.
In the case of normal hysteroscopy:
- The inside of the uterus is normal in size and shape.
- The polyps, fibroids, or other growths are not present anymore.
- The openings of fallopian tubes are normal.
In the case of abnormal hysteroscopy:
- The shape or size of the inside of the uterus is not normal.
- There is scar tissue present in the uterus.
- The uterine polyps, fibroids, and other growths are present there.
- The IUD (a misplaced intrauterine device) is found and removed.
- The openings to the fallopian tubes are closed.