A doctor performs a hysteroscopy to look at the lining of your uterus with a viewing tool called a hysteroscope. The procedure is done to find the cause of abnormal bleeding, to remove uterine growths like polyps and fibroids, and to examine the uterus to see if there’s a problem with its shape or size that’s preventing you from becoming pregnant or causing repeated miscarriages.
A hysteroscopy is usually done in an operating room of a hospital or surgery center, although in some cases it may be done in the doctor’s office. It is an outpatient procedure and takes about 30 minutes.
A local, regional, or general anesthesia is given, depending on the doctor’s preference. The procedure begins like an internal gynecological exam. The doctor then places the hysteroscope at the entrance to the vagina, moving it gently through the cervix into the uterus. A gas or liquid is infused through the hysteroscope into the uterus to help the doctor see the lining more clearly. The hysteroscope is equipped with a light and a camera to provide a magnified view of the endometrium, or uterine lining, as well as the uterine openings of the fallopian tubes. All of this is can be viewed on a video screen.
During the exam, the doctor may take a small biopsy, or tissue sample, through the hysteroscope to examine under a microscope to help in a diagnosis. If infertility is a problem, a laparoscopy may also be performed.
Light vaginal bleeding is normal following a hysteroscopy. If it gets heavier, or if you experience fever, severe belly or pelvic pain or cramping, problems urinating, shortness of breath or vomiting, contact your doctor.
If you have additional questions about hysteroscopy, contact us.