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Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is a procedure that is done to see inside your uterus. It can help find the cause of problems in the uterus. This helps your health care provider decide on the best treatment. In some cases, it can be used to perform treatment. Hysteroscopy may be done in your health care provider's office or in the hospital.

Healthcare providers in surgical gowns, masks, and hats looking at monitor. Woman is lying on table with legs in stirrups. One healthcare provider is sitting between patient's legs.

Why Is It Done?

Hysteroscopy may be done based on the results of other tests. It can help find the cause of problems. These can include:

  • Unusually heavy or long menstrual periods

  • Bleeding between periods

  • Postmenopausal bleeding

  • Trouble becoming pregnant (infertility) or carrying a pregnancy to term

Risks and Possible Complications

Problems with the procedure are rare. But all procedures have risks. Risks of hysteroscopy include:

  • Infection

  • Bleeding

  • Perforation (tearing) of the uterine wall

  • Damage to internal organs

  • Scarring of the uterus

  • Problems with anesthesia (the medication that prevents pain during the procedure)

Before the Procedure

  • Tell your health care provider if you have any health problems. These include diabetes, heart disease, or bleeding problems.

  • Tell your health care provider about all the medications you take. This includes any over-the-counter medications, herbs, or supplements.

  • You may be told not to use vaginal creams or medication. And you may be told not to have sex or douche.

  • You may be told not to eat or drink the night before the procedure.

  • You may be tested for pregnancy and infection.

  • You may be asked to sign a consent form.

  • You may be given a pain reliever to take an hour before the procedure. This helps relieve cramping that may occur.

During the Procedure

  • You’ll lie on an exam table with your knees bent.

  • You may be given general anesthesia or medication to help you relax or sleep. In some cases, an IV line will be put into a vein in your arm or hand. This line is then used to give fluids and medications.

  • A tool called a speculum is inserted into the vagina to hold it open. A tool called a dilator may be used to widen the cervix.

  • Numbing medication may be applied to the cervix.

  • The hysteroscope (a long, thin lighted tube) is inserted through the vagina and into the uterus. It is used to see inside the uterus. Images of the uterus are viewed on a monitor.

  • A gas or fluid may be injected into the uterus to expand it.

  • Other tools may be put through the hysteroscope. These are used to take tissue samples. They may also be used to remove growths.

After the Procedure

  • You may have cramps and bleeding for 24 hours after the procedure. This is normal. Use pads instead of tampons.

  • Do not douche or use tampons until your healthcare provider says it’s okay.

  • Do not use any vaginal medications until you are told it’s okay.

  • Ask your healthcare provider when it’s okay to have sex again.

Call Your Health Care Provider If You Have:

  • Heavy bleeding (more than 1 pad an hour for 2 or more hours)

  • A fever over 100.4°F

  • Increasing abdominal pain or tenderness

  • Foul-smelling discharge

Follow-Up

Schedule a follow-up visit with your health care provider. Based on the results of your test, you may need more treatment. Be sure to follow instructions and keep your appointments.

 

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