What is a Hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is a simple procedure used to diagnose or treat abnormal bleeding. Through a hysteroscopy, your OB/GYN can view the inside of the uterus to check for various complications and conditions or to treat causes of bleeding. During a hysteroscopy, a light and a small camera are inserted into the uterus through the vagina. A hysteroscopy is commonly performed alongside another procedure such as a laparoscopy or to confirm the results of another diagnostic test such as an HSG.
When are Hysteroscopies Performed?
There are several conditions that your doctor may diagnose or treat through a hysteroscopy. Some common reasons why your OB/GYN may suggest a hysteroscopy include:
- Confirming results from another diagnostic test (such as an HSG)
- Removal of fibroids or polyps
- Dilation and curettage
- Diagnosing a uterine septum or other defect
- Identifying the cause of abnormal bleeding
The Hysteroscopy Procedure
The hysteroscopy procedure is relatively simple. First, your doctor will insert a speculum to dilate the cervix, just as they would for a routine gynecological exam. The hysteroscope, which contains a small light and camera, can then be inserted through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. This allows your OB/GYN to view the inside of the uterus. If the hysteroscopy is being used to complete another procedure, such as laparoscopy, additional tools may then be inserted as needed.
The total time required to complete a hysteroscopy varies greatly depending on whether you are having a diagnostic or operative procedure. Your procedure may take anywhere from five minutes to over an hour. Before your appointment, your doctor will let you know what you can expect.
A hysteroscopy is not painful, but may cause some cramping through the procedure. Patients who are particularly anxious about the procedure may be prescribed sedatives if necessary so they remain calm throughout their treatment. If you require an operative procedure, local anesthesia may be required.
Recovery After Hysteroscopy
A hysteroscopy is an outpatient procedure, meaning that patients are free to return home after their procedure is complete. It is normal to experience cramping, bleeding or spotting, mild nausea, and lightheadedness after a hysteroscopy, but these side effects should be mild and last no longer than a day or two. If your hysteroscopy was used to aid in a surgery, you can typically expect about 24-48 hours of downtime and should avoid sexual activity for about a week. Your OB/GYN will give you specific instructions regarding your recovery period after your hysteroscopy.
Schedule an Appointment
To schedule a hysteroscopy in our Manhattan office, call Carnegie Women’s Health at (315) 628-7063 or contact us online.