Hysteroscopy: The Basics

What is a hysteroscopy and who needs it?

Your doctor may recommend a hysteroscopy if you’re having severe menstrual cramping, menstrual periods that are very heavy, bleeding in between periods, or if your doctor needs to know more about the health of your reproductive organs.

Several other reasons for a hysteroscopy are:

  • Bleeding after menopause
  • To remove fibroids, polyps or uterine scarring
  • Having one or more miscarriages

What is a hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy uses a hysteroscope to look into your vagina and cervix. A hysteroscopy is a lighted thin tube. This process gives your woman’s doctor a close up look at your cervix and uterus to determine if you’re having any health issues in these areas. Your doctor will be able to test any abnormal material that she may find thereby taking a sample.

How is a hysteroscopy done?

A hysteroscopy may be done in a doctor’s office or the hospital. You may be awake or receive general anesthesia for the process. If you remain awake during the procedure, your doctor may give you some relaxing medication.

Then, the doctor will use a technique that opens your cervix using either tools or medicine. A speculum is then used to open your vagina and keep it open, much like when you have a pap smear. Water is placed inside your uterus to hold it open.

Next, your doctor puts the hysteroscope in your womb and expands that organ. The physician then has a clear view of the uterus and fallopian tubes. If a biopsy needs to be done, the process is performed through the scope.

Recovery after a hysteroscopy

You should be allowed to go home right after this procedure unless you received a general anesthetic. You may need someone to drive you home. After the process, you may experience some cramping or bleeding. You can also have gas for about one day, as well as be given pain medication. Please avoid sex for 2 weeks after a hysteroscopy to minimize the chance of infections.

Complications from a hysteroscopy

While rare, all surgeries contain at least some risk of complications. For a hysteroscopy, this may include:

  • Damage to the cervix
  • Damage to nearby organs such as the ovaries, bowel or bladder

You’ll need to contact your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you have severe abdominal pain, a fever or heavy bleeding. Only one percent of women who have this procedure have complications.

Benefits of a hysteroscopy

Some of the benefits of having this scope performed are:

  • Little to no hospital stay, as compared to a hysterectomy
  • A brief recovery time
  • Less pain medication is needed after surgery
  • May prevent a hysterectomy
  • May avoid having to open the abdomen to correct the problem

If you have had problems with heavy menstrual bleeding, miscarriages, or other women’s health complaints, please contact your woman’s health care provider for treatment right away.

Have questions or concerns? Contact our experienced and compassionate staff at our Gainesville or Lake City offices today.