A hysteroscopy is a procedure to look inside your womb (uterus). It’s done with a narrow tube-like telescope with a camera called a hysteroscope. A hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose and/or treat a problem with your womb.
Gynaecologist may recommend that you have a hysteroscopy for one of a number of different reasons. These include the following.
To help find out what is causing you to have unusual bleeding from your vagina, for example heavy periods or bleeding after your menopause.
To check for polyps (small growths of tissue in your womb lining) or some types of fibroids (non-cancerous growths of muscle in your womb). These may then be treated during your hysteroscopy.
To see if there are any problems within your womb if you’re having problems getting pregnant or have had several miscarriages.
To treat scar tissue (adhesions) within the lining of your womb.
To take out an intra-uterine system (IUS), or coil, that has moved out of place.
To carry out a permanent form of contraception (sterilisation).
During an operative hysteroscopy, a hysteroscope is used to correct an abnormal condition that has been detected during a diagnostic hysteroscopy. If an abnormal condition is detected, an operative hysteroscopy is often performed at the same time, avoiding the need for a second surgery. During operative hysteroscopy, small instruments used to correct the condition are inserted through the hysteroscope. In many situations, operative hysteroscopy may offer an alternative to hysterectomy.
Gynaecologist may perform hysteroscopy to correct the following uterine conditions:
» Polyps and fibroids: Hysteroscopy is used to remove these small non-cancerous growths found in the uterus
» Abnormal bleeding: Hysteroscopy can help identify the cause of heavy or lengthy menstrual flow, as well as bleeding between periods or after menopause
» Endometrial ablation: One procedure in which the hysteroscope, along with other instruments, is used to destroy the uterine lining in order to treat some causes of heavy bleeding
» Adhesions: Uterine adhesions are bands of scar tissue that can form in the uterus and may lead to changes in menstrual flow as well as infertility. Hysteroscopy can help gynaecologist to locate and remove the adhesions
» Septum: Hysteroscopy can help determine whether you have a uterine septum, a malformation of the uterus that is present from birth.
Hysteroscopy is often done as an outpatient procedure, especially if it’s being done to look for problems in your womb. You won’t need to stay in hospital overnight and you’ll be awake during your procedure. If you’re having treatment during your hysteroscopy, gynaecologist may recommend that you have the procedure under general anaesthesia. This will probably be as a day case. This means you’ll be asleep during the operation, but you’ll go home later the same day. If you’re having a general anaesthetic, you’ll be asked to follow fasting instructions. This means not eating or drinking, typically for about six hours beforehand. However, it’s important to follow your gynaecologist’s advice.