If you haven’t been able to conceive after 6 months of unprotected intercourse, certain tests are ordered to determine the cause. Apart from testing your hormones, reproductive organs and your partner’s sperm, a thorough evaluation of the uterus is also considered. The uterus is examined to ensure that there is no problem that could stop the implantation and growth of a fertilized egg.
What are the different methods used to examine my uterus?
Your doctor can use one of the below methods to evaluate your uterus.
How is hysteroscopy performed?
Hysteroscopy can be used as a diagnostic as well as therapeutic tool.
Diagnostic hysteroscopy: Hysteroscopy is used to diagnose many conditions of the uterus. The hysteroscope is then inserted through the cervix into the uterus. The images captured by the hysteroscope can be viewed by you and your doctor on a monitor. Once the diagnosis is complete, the hysteroscope is carefully removed and you will be able to resume your normal activities. You may experience some spotting or discharge of watery fluid from your vagina following the test.
Operative hysteroscopy: Hysteroscopy can also be performed to remove abnormal tissue causing bleeding or fertility problems. As a therapeutic method, the procedure uses a hysteroscope that is larger than the one used for diagnosis and is performed under anesthesia in an operating room. The entire procedure takes about 1 hour to complete. You may experience some discomfort following the procedure. You are advised not to swim, take a bath, have intercourse or place anything in your vagina for up to 2 weeks to allow the dilated cervix to regain its normal position and lower the chances of infection.
What are the conditions that can be diagnosed and treated with hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is indicated for
These conditions can cause heavy bleeding, infertility and high rates of miscarriage.
Are there any risks associated with hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is generally a safe procedure. However, as with any procedure, there are chances of infection and scar tissue formation. Bleeding after the procedure is common, but heavy bleeding requires immediate medical attention. The fluid used by a hysteroscope to allow clear vision of the uterus can get absorbed into the blood. Apart from this, in rare cases, the scope can perforate the uterus. Small perforations usually heal by themselves but larger ones can injure other organs such as the bladder, blood vessels and intestine, requiring another procedure called laparoscopy to rectify the problem.