With the lifestyle that we all have today, it isn’t uncommon to find a person with diseases and complications. Women are a victim of the lifestyle epidemic too. This is clearly visible by the growing number of women facing issues like abnormal bleeding and unbearable cramping. Yes, our degrading lifestyles are not the only reasons for these issues. However, it is important to take a step towards treating such problems. Hysteroscopy can be that step.
What is Hysteroscopy and Why is it Done?
Hysteroscopy is a way through which a doctor can have a closer look into the cervix and the uterus for problems.
These are the problems that lead to abnormal bleeding and severe cramping that many women today complain of. If you are one such woman, hysteroscopy will help your lady doctor learn more about your reproductive health, thus, treating you better.
You may also require a hysteroscopy if you observe unusual Pap results, Fibroids or scarring on your uterus and also if your IUD (intrauterine device) has come out of position. In case you have had more than one miscarriage or face issues having pregnancy, the procedure will help your doctor understand the problem and operate.
Additionally, you might require to undertake a hysteroscopy if your lady doctor needs a biopsy(small tissue sample taken for closer examination) of the lining of the uterus. Done with the help of a hysteroscope (a thin tube with a small light on the front end), here are the different types of Hysteroscopy you might have to undergo.
Types of Hysteroscopy
Hysteroscopies are basically of two types: Diagnostic and operative.
As the term suggests, diagnostic hysteroscopy is used to identify problems in the uterus and also to ensure the credibility of the results of other tests performed. The procedure is also done in combination with others such as laparoscopy or d&c (dilation and curettage). Operative hysteroscopy, on the other hand, is done to operate upon the problems detected in diagnostic hysteroscopy. This is done after a diagnostic one and thus takes additional time.
What is the Step by Step Procedure of Hysteroscopy?
To help you relax and be able to undergo the pain, the doctor prescribes you a sedative. If required, she may also give you anesthesia.
After ensuring that you don’t feel much pain, the doctor proceeds by inserting a tool named Sim’s Speculum in the cervix for a better and clearer vision of the area.
Next, the cervix is dilated through Cervical Dilators which allow for a hindrance free pathway to the fallopian tubes and the uterus. This step lowers the risk of injury which the cervix might have to suffer.
Once there is enough space for the hysteroscope to be inserted, the tube is gently pushed through the vagina into your uterus.
Next, the doctor pushes some liquid solution that helps expand the uterus and also clears away any mucus or blood inside.
Once the tube is set up and the uterus is cleaned, the light on the end of the hysteroscope allows the doctor to check the lining of the uterus. She also checks the opening of the fallopian tubes to diagnose properly.
Lastly, small instruments are pushed into the uterus through the hysteroscope if it is an operative hysteroscopy.
The whole procedure might take anywhere between a few minutes to a couple of hours. If it’s a Diagnostic hysteroscopy, it is ought to take only a few minutes. However, if done with other procedures like laparoscopy, the process is very likely to get extended.
Is a Hysteroscopy Painful?
Yes, hysteroscopy is painful. However, to ensure that the pain is not severe, the first step of the procedure helps. That is when the doctor gives you a relaxing sedative or anesthesia that numbs your body, thus making you unable to observe the pain.
After this, the level of pain you have to undergo depends on the type of anesthesia induced. If it’s a general anesthesia, your entire body will stay numb during the whole procedure. A regional anesthesia will numb the larger part of your body that is most likely to be affected for a few hours. A local anesthesia works only on a smaller part of the body for a short time.
Thus, it is important to let only an experienced doctor operate on you as she will know exactly which anesthesia to use, if any is required at all. Thus, ensuring you have to face the least amount of pain possible.
What are the Risks of Hysteroscopy?
Apart from the pain, signs of infection after hysteroscopy might be visible if sterile precautions are not followed well. Issues like intrauterine scarring and pelvic inflammatory disease may also occur.
Additionally, your body might react negatively to the anesthesia induced and the liquid used during the procedure. Make sure you have someone to drive you home after the procedure as the anesthesia will make you drowsy and thus, unable to drive.
Damage to the cervix or nearby organs like the bowel, bladder or ovaries is rare yet possible. Mild cramping along with bleeding for a couple of days are some common possibilities.
However, all these risks can be oppressed with the help of certain precautions taken. The best of which would be to have a detailed conversation with your experienced and trusted doctor. This helps the doctor understand your case well and then tell you personalised preparations, preventions, and precautions associated with hysteroscopy.
While there are certain risks to the procedure, hysteroscopy can prove highly beneficial to avoid an even riskier process of hysterectomy. It can also help avoid a possible ‘open’ abdominal surgery.
Not to mention, hysteroscopy is a minor procedure and thus requires less hospital stay time and recovery time when compared to other major medical procedures.
The Bottom Line
While there are some risks to hysteroscopy, it is quite an essential procedure for women facing abnormal bleeding and other related issues.
Hence, it is worth repeating here that a good lady doctor chosen can help you out immensely with her expertise and knowledge. Not only would she perform the procedure with ease, but will also make you comfortable during the whole process. Thus, helping you treat your issues and lead a better, healthier and complication-free life.
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