What is Hysteroscopy?

Women are increasingly facing various problems regarding their reproductive organs. Heavy or scanty periods, abdominal pain, or infertility are some of the most commonly encountered gynaecological issues. Most diseases related to women's reproductive organs have the same or similar symptoms, making it harder for doctors to diagnose the condition. In such cases, doctors take the help of certain non-invasive procedures such as a Hysteroscopy.

Hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inner part of the womb. Doctors insert a tiny camera called a hysteroscope through the vagina and cervix. Therefore, this procedure does not involve an incision. The images help doctors study the exact cause of the problem you may be facing and provide effective treatment. 

Who requires a Hysteroscopy?

Suppose you suffer from gynaecological issues such as abdominal cramping, heavy bleeding, or spotting between periods. In that case, your doctor may suggest you undergo a hysteroscopy to understand the exact cause. Other reasons to get a hysteroscopy are to understand the reason for recurrent miscarriages, ovulation problems, infertility, extraction of placental tissue after birth, or to locate a displaced intrauterine device. 

Why is a hysteroscopy conducted?

A hysteroscopy is a procedure to understand your problem's root cause. There may be several factors that cause you to have irregular menses or spotting between periods. Your doctor may conduct the procedure to study the inside of your womb and reach a correct diagnosis. 

A hysteroscopy is done to treat or diagnose any of the following conditions-

  • PCOS- The main symptom of PCOS is irregular periods. Doctors will check your womb for ovarian cysts, polyps, or uterine fibroids. 
  • Adhesions- Adhesions are scar tissue bands forming in your uterus due to surgery or trauma. These bands can often result in changes in the menstrual flow and cause infertility. 
  • Septums- Septums in the uterus are deformations that can prevent ovulation and pregnancy. Most of the deformation is present by birth. 

A hysteroscopy is a relatively safe procedure and can be carried out without complications. However, your doctor may advise you against it if you are pregnant or have a pelvic infection. It is essential to discuss the alternatives with your doctor if you come under any of these two categories. 

What are the benefits of a Hysteroscopy?

Modern-day hysteroscopies are a perfect solution to treat gynaecological problems without being invasive. Your doctor may also perform an operative hysteroscopy using specialised tools to treat the detected abnormality. The procedure is also extremely precise. A hysteroscopy does not cause damage to the surrounding organs.

What are the risks and complications related to a hysteroscopy?

 A hysteroscopy is generally a safe and minimally invasive procedure. However, there is a slight possibility of certain risks involved. Some of them may be-

  • Excessive bleeding during or after the procedure
  • Damage to the womb or surrounding organs
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Bad reaction to the anaesthetic used
  • Infections to the womb

Most of these risks are not life-threatening and can be easily treated. It is important to understand that no procedure is 100% accurate and safe. Your doctor will discuss the risks with you before the procedure.

A hysteroscopy will help in the effective diagnosis of your health problem. Most gynaecological problems have a better prognosis if detected early. Make sure you visit your doctor if you notice symptoms such as abdominal cramping, heavy or light periods, unexplainable weight loss/gain, or painful intercourse. These may be danger signs your body is sending you. Early detection and treatment are always better.

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1. Is hysteroscopy a major surgery?

A hysteroscopy is a minor procedure that does not require any incision. In most cases, no overnight stay is needed. However, if your doctor is worried about certain post-operative symptoms, you may be asked to stay overnight.

2. How long does a hysteroscopy last?

A hysteroscopy may last between 10-30 minutes based on the individual cases. If your doctor conducts an operative hysteroscopy on the spot, it may take up to 1 hour.

3. Can I drive home after a hysteroscopy?

No. It may be advised to have someone take you home after the procedure as you may experience lightheadedness, bleeding, or cramping. The procedure is usually conducted under a local anaesthetic. Therefore, your doctor may advise some precautions to take.

4. When is the best time to have a hysteroscopy?

Your doctor may advise you to get a hysteroscopy done anytime between the 6th and the 12th day of your menstrual cycle. The time right after the end of periods and before ovulation is considered best for a hysteroscopy.

5. Can I conceive after a hysteroscopy?

That depends on the reason for your hysteroscopy and its success rate after. However, studies have found that a hysteroscopy conducted to remove endometrial polyps improves fertility and chances of conception.

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