A hysteroscopy is a multi-purpose procedure that allows your physician the opportunity to closely examine your uterus’ lining (endometrium). In order to do so, he or she will use a hysteroscope, a thin tube lighted at its end. The hysteroscope is gently inserted into the vagina and carefully moved into the uterus through the cervix. Your physician will be able to view the lining of your uterus on a video screen.
There are many reasons why a hysteroscopy may be used. Dr. Heidi Wittenberg has provided an overview of how a hysteroscopy can benefit a multitude of patient concerns.
Abnormal uterine bleeding/Heaving menstrual bleeding
Why does this occur and how does a hysteroscopy help?
For a variety of reasons heavy or abnormal bleeding can occur — fibroids, polyps, hormones fueling the lining, a condition of the uterine muscle called adenomyosis, or even stress. A hysteroscope allows your provider to see fibroids, polyps and thick lining that’s in the endometrial cavity. If the cavity is clean and without abnormality then stress or adenomyosis might be the issue. The hysteroscope is not only diagnostic, but can be therapeutic by using instruments to pull out polyps, take care of thick lining, or remove some fibroids that have a thin stalk attaching them to the uterus.
How does the size and shape of the uterus affect fertility?
Fallopian tubes, congenital scarring or misshapen uteri can have issues getting pregnant. Polyps or intracavitary ( in the inner uterus) can prevent implantation. Implantation can also be affected by fibroids, depending on location or size, they can distort the endometrial cavity and be a foreign body preventing implantation.
How does scar tissue factor in?
Scar tissue can prevent the endometrial cavity lining from building up to a level that an embryo can land and implant and grow.
How does recurrent miscarriage factor in?
Checking for any of the above issues with see if there is an anatomical reason for recurrent miscarriage.
Fibroids can be without symptoms. If they cause heavy bleeding, painful cramping, prevent implantation of an embryo, or are so large that they cause urinary frequency, urgency or constipation, then they should be addressed.
- IUD removal
Hysteroscopy can aid in removal of imbedded or malpositioned devices. Hysteroscopy is also used to insert Essure and make sure it is in the proper place.