Hysteroscopy: Procedure and Recovery
There are several reasons for infertility in women like ovulation problems, older age, uterine abnormalities, or even unhealthy bodyweight. Though some of these problems can be diagnosed via non-invasive medical procedures, there are others that need to be identified via minor surgical procedures. One of these surgical procedures is Hysteroscopy, which can help a medical specialist detect any gynaecological abnormalities inside a woman’s uterus.
Hysteroscopy might sound like an intimidating experience to go through at first. But really, the procedure is simple. Your doctor might suggest undergoing diagnostic hysteroscopy first, which can be performed directly in your doctor’s office with or without local anaesthetics. If upon doing so, your doctor detects any gynaecological abnormalities, he/she will then suggest operative hysteroscopy to treat the problem. During the second procedure, anaesthesia will be used and you will be asleep the entire time.
How is Hysteroscopy done?
Hysteroscopy is generally carried out by inserting a hysteroscope (a thin tube with a camera and light attached to one end) into the uterus via the vagina. Prior to doing this, the patient will be given medications that can help her relax throughout the treatment. If required, local or general anaesthesia will be given, the extent of which will depend on the purpose of the hysteroscopy being performed.
This is a detailed explanation of the procedure.
- During the procedure, your doctor will insert an instrument called speculum into the vagina to help spread the cervix wider.
- Your doctor then sanitizes the vagina and cervix with an antiseptic solution.
- The hysteroscope is then slowly inserted into the opening and through the cervix until it reaches the uterus.
- Once the tube reaches the uterus, your medical specialist will pump in a fluid or carbon dioxide to make the uterus expand and clear the surface.
- With the help of the camera and light attached to the tube, the doctor then gets a clear view of the uterus and the fallopian tubes on a screen in the room. If surgery is meant to take place at this time then surgical devices are put through the hysteroscope and it is performed.
Usually, hysteroscopy is not a painful procedure, except for cramps similar to that during menstruation. However, if pain occurs the procedure must be stopped at once. So, remember to tell your doctor if you feel pain.
Generally, Hysteroscopy is done as an Outpatient Procedure without Anesthesia wherein the patient can return home within a few hours of the procedure.
However, if the procedure requires you to take anaesthesia, general or local, your doctor may suggest an overnight stay for observation based on the state of the patient. Furthermore, if surgery is involved in the process, your doctor will suggest you take rest for a day or two before you can resume your normal duties. In this case, it is also suggested that you should refrain from any sexual activities for at least a week to reduce the chance of infection.
Now that you understand the procedure, you know that there is nothing to worry about. So, go ahead and talk to your gynaecologist about whether you should get a hysteroscopy soon.