Health Library

Hysteroscopy

Definition

This procedure uses a scope to let the doctor to see inside the uterus.

Female Reproductive Organs
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Reasons for Procedure

Hysteroscopy may be done to look for causes of:

Hysteroscopy may also be done as part of treatment. It may be used to remove:

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Swelling or bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Harm to nearby structures

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking ecess alcohol
  • Long term diseases such as diabetes or obesity
  • History of pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Inflammation of the cervix
  • Distended bladder
  • Pregnancy or possible pregnancy

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

The care team may meet with you to talk about:

  • Anesthesia options
  • Any allergies you may have
  • Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before the procedure
  • Fasting before the procedure, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
  • Whether you need a ride to and from the procedure

Anesthesia

The doctor may give:

  • General anesthesia—you will be asleep
  • Regional anesthesia—pain will be blocked without causing sleep
  • Local anesthesia—the area will be numbed

Description of the Procedure

A speculum is placed in the vagina. It will gently press open the vagina. A scope will be passed through the vagina and into the uterus. The uterus will be filled with a gas or liquid. This will let the doctor get a clear look inside the uterus.

Other tools may be passed into the uterus. Abnormal tissue will be removed or repairs will be made. A sample of tissue may be removed for a biopsy. All samples will be sent to a lab for exam.

How Long Will It Take?

About 15 to 45 minutes

Will It Hurt?

There may be mild cramping and soreness. Medicine can help.

Post-procedure Care

Once you feel better, you will be able to go home. Most can go back to normal activity within a few days. Full recovery will depend on what was done.

At Home

Most can go back to normal activity within a few days. Full recovery will depend on what was done.

Problems to Look Out For

Call your doctor if you are not feeling better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such a fever and chills
  • Abnormal bleeding (more than a menstrual period)
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Belly pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Problems breathing, problems swallowing, or chest pain
  • Problems passing urine (pee)
  • Any new or worsening symptoms

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

Resources

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
http://www.acog.org

Office on Women's Health
http://www.womenshealth.gov

Canadian Resources

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
http://www.sogc.org

Women's Health Matters
http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca

References

Hysteroscopy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Hysteroscopy.

Hysteroscopy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/hysteroscopy.

Hysteroscopy. NHS website. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hysteroscopy/.

Salazar CA, Isaacson KB. Office operative hysteroscopy: an update. J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2018;25(2):199-208.