A hysteroscopy is a way for your doctor to look at the lining of your
A hysteroscopy may be done to find the cause of abnormal bleeding or bleeding that occurs after a woman has passed
Your doctor may take a small sample of tissue (
Why It Is Done
A hysteroscopy may be done to:
How To Prepare
Tell your doctor if you:
It is best to have a hysteroscopy done when you are not having your menstrual period. If there is a chance that you could become pregnant, the hysteroscopy should be done before you are ovulating so your doctor is sure you are not pregnant.
Do not douche, use tampons, or use vaginal medicines for 24 hours before the hysteroscopy.
You may be given a medicine (
If you are going to have
Arrange to have someone drive you home the day of the test in case you are given a sedative.
You will be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
The hospital or surgery center may send you instructions on how to get ready for your surgery, or a nurse may call you with instructions before your surgery.
How It Is Done
A hysteroscopy is usually done by your
You may be given medicine (
You will take off all of your clothes and wear a gown for the test. You will empty your bladder before the test. You will then lie on your back on an examination table with your feet raised and supported by footrests (stirrups).
Your doctor will
The hysteroscope will be placed at the entrance to your vagina and gently moved through the cervix into your uterus. A gas or liquid will be put through the hysteroscope into your uterus to help your doctor see the lining clearly. Your doctor looks through the hysteroscope at a magnified view of the lining of your uterus. Your doctor can also see the uterine openings of the fallopian tubes. A video screen may be used during the test.
If a biopsy or other procedure is done, your doctor will use small tools through the hysteroscope. A hysteroscopy takes about 30 minutes, unless other procedures are being done.
How It Feels
If you are given a sedative or a local or regional anesthesia, you may have some cramping during the test. If you have general anesthesia, you may have a tickling, dry throat, slight hoarseness, or a mild sore throat after the test; these symptoms may last several days. Throat lozenges and warm saltwater gargles can help relieve the throat symptoms.
Some women feel dizzy and sick to their stomachs. This is called a
You may need to avoid sexual intercourse, using tampons, or playing sports for a while after hysteroscopy. Talk to your doctor about when you can resume normal activities.
If a fluid is used during the test to help your doctor see the uterine lining clearly, you may absorb some fluid and feel bloated. It may also change the level of sodium in your blood. If gas is used, you have a small risk for an air bubble (air embolism) in a blood vessel, though this is very rare.
A hysteroscopy can cause injury to the uterus or cervix, an infection, or bleeding. In rare cases, the uterus, bladder, or bowel can be punctured during the test, requiring surgical repair. If general anesthesia is used, there is a small risk of problems from the anesthesia.
After the test
Right after the test, you will be taken to a recovery area where nurses will care for and observe you. Usually you will stay in the recovery area for 1 to 4 hours, and then you will be moved to a hospital room or you will go home. In addition to any special instructions from your doctor, your nurse will explain information to help you in your recovery. You will likely go home with a sheet of care instructions and who to call if you have any problems.
It is normal to have a small amount of vaginal bleeding for a day or so after a hysteroscopy. You also may have some mild belly pain if a gas was used during the test. This should go away in 24 hours. You can take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) to relieve the pain.
Follow any instructions your doctor gave you. Call your doctor if you have:
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to have the hysteroscopy or why the results may not be helpful include:
If you are not sexually active, a hysteroscopy can be done anytime. But it is best to have a hysteroscopy when you are not having your menstrual period.
If you are past menopause, a hysteroscopy can be done anytime.
What To Think About
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.