Hysteroscopy is a basic examination of the uterus in which the uterus can be thoroughly screened with a specialized telescope or a hysteroscope. Hysteroscopy enables seeing the inside of the uterus, also known as the endometrial cavity, and appropriate treatment to be instituted under direct vision (not on a television/ computer monitor as in endoscopy).
Hysteroscopy is used to examine abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding even after menopause (stopping of periods), heavy periods, and bleeding between periods. It is also used when abnormalities of the uterus are found during an ultrasound scan. These can include thickened endometrium (lining of uterus); polyps (fleshy tissue coming out from the endometrium); and fibroids (swellings originating from the muscle of the uterus).
The hysteroscope or telescope is extremely narrow and is passed up through the cervix into the uterus cavity. Because the uterus is typically folded, a saline fluid will be introduced to kind of open or distend womb so that the doctor clearly and directly views the womb.
Small polyps, that protrude (or stick out) from the womb lining can be surgically removed during a hysteroscopy. A hysteroscopy is also used when abnormalities of the uterus are found during an ultrasound scan. Fibroids can also be surgically removed, if they protrude (project) into the uterine cavity, by a special hysteroscope with an electrical loop, also known as a resectoscope.
Post hysteroscopy you may experience period-like bleeding for few days and this may also be associated with painful period-like cramps. Sanitary towels are advised rather than tampons during this episode to diminish the risk of infection.
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