A hysteroscopy test is used to diagnose & treat issues in the uterus or womb. The method includes the insertion of a thin, telescope-like camera into the uterus through the vagina. The camera has a light on the end and is called a hysteroscope. Hysteroscopy can help discover the causes of heavy bleeding, like polyps or fibroids. In addition, it can be used to perform a uterus biopsy to check for cancerous growth, particularly in post-menopausal women.
A. Reasons To Use Hysteroscopy
A hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat heavy periods, abnormal vaginal bleeding, post-menopausal bleeding, pelvic pain or infertility. Dilation and curettage (D&C), on the other hand, is a procedure to remove tissues post-miscarriage from within the uterus. Gynaecologists also use this procedure to diagnose and treat specific uterine conditions like heavy bleeding.
Hysteroscopy allows the doctor to pinpoint, evaluate, and suggest treatment for a scope of uterine conditions and issues. Probably the most common reasons why a specialist may suggest hysteroscopy are:
1. Intrauterine Adhesion: Hysteroscopy test is considered the most accurate method to evaluate intrauterine adhesions. It can be used to identify as well as remove the adhesions. The procedure can be done in the doctor’s clinic or the operating room.
2. Abnormal uterine bleeding: Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) is prolonged or heavy bleeding between your monthly periods. It can be caused due to hormonal imbalance or uterine fibroids,or endometrial polyps. Here, to identify the exact cause of abnormal uterine bleeding, the healthcare provider may suggest a hysteroscopic test to examine the lining of the uterus.
3. IUD displacement: While it is very rare for the IUD to move out of placeor fall out completely, it can happen. Here, through hysteroscopy, the healthcare provider can check the placement of the IUD, which can then be removed or replaced post discussion.
4. Septum removal: Uterine septum, a defect of the uterus present since birth, divides the inner portion of the uterus, thereby increasing the risk of miscarriage. If you have experienced repeated miscarriage, a hysteroscopy can help determine whether or not you have a uterine septum.
5. Diagnosis for repeated miscarriage: Hysteroscopy is also used for the diagnosis of recurrent miscarriage. Through hysteroscopy, the healthcare provider can check whether any uterine abnormalities are causing repeated miscarriages.
6. Ectopic pregnancy: A hysteroscopy test is also used to diagnose and remove an ectopic pregnancy, wherein the fertilised egg implants and grows outside the uterus.
B] Quick Recovery After Hysteroscopy
You are allowed to go home right after the operative hysteroscopy procedure unless you are given any anaesthesia. You should ask someone to drive you home or hire a cab. The specialist may prescribe you pain medications. You may also encounter some cramping or bleeding. After the procedure,
- You can eat and drink as normal. But, if general anaesthesia was administered, it is best to snack on light meals.
- Use sanitary pads and not tampons until after your next period. This will prevent infection.
- You can also shower on the same day. But, wait until the next day to take a bath.
- Avoid sexual intercourse for at least two weeks after the procedure or until the bleeding stops. This will prevent the risk of infection.
While you recover, you might experience:
- Pain: It’s normal to experience some discomfort after the procedure. You might feel some mild, period-like pain or cramps after the procedure. To alleviate pain, you can take pain-relief medication recommended by the doctor.
- Vaginal bleeding and discharge: You might experience bleeding for 7 to 10 days after having the hysteroscopy procedure. The bleeding may be heavier than your regular period and may stop and start. Vaginaldischarge for about two weeks after the procedure is also considered normal. If the discharge smells bad, it may be a sign of infection. In which case, visit the healthcare provider immediately.
C] Hysteroscopy Surgery and Recovery: Things to Do
1. Get some exercise and sunlight: A light exercise routine can help you recover from hysteroscopy surgery. If you feel good, go for walks. Moving around and getting your pulse up reinforces the muscles in your pelvic region, which can make you feel relaxed. However, avoid strenuous activities.
2. Ahead of pain: The doctor will recommend medicine to relieve pain. Take the medication as prescribed, do not miss your dose.
3. Rest, rest, and more rest: While most women resume their normal activities a day after hysteroscopy, it is advised to get ample rest in case of polyps/fibroids removal or if anaesthesia was used. Remember, the more rest you can get, the faster your body will recover.
4. Prevent and treat constipation: Sedation, pain relief medication, and lower activity levels can block your bowel movements. Here, drink a lot of water every day, get up & move around, and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to prevent and treat constipation.
5. Eat good food: Vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins like chicken, beans, and fish can help you recover. Eating well and healthily will give you the energy to recuperate and keep your state of mind steady and positive.
Complications from hysteroscopy are rare but could be serious if the procedure is not performed by an experienced doctor or women’s healthcare specialist.
Recovery from a hysteroscopy is quick, and there’s by & large no lasting effect beyond the first couple of days following the procedure. There are many benefits of a hysteroscopy, including but not limited to faster recovery time, shorter hospital stay and fewer medications post-surgery. It is also an excellent alternative to open abdominal surgery and hysterectomy.
The risks with hysteroscopy are low, yet you should still talk about the possibilities with the doctor before the procedure. However, like with all surgical procedures, hysteroscopy has a few side effects too. It includes uterine bleeding, risk of infection, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). There are also chances of complications arising from the gas or fluid that is used during the procedure to expand the uterus. Additionally, damage to the cervix or tear in the uterus is also a possibility. However, these are rare.
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