Most women occasionally experience an irregular period or abnormal bleeding, so they’re often tempted to take a wait-and-see approach. But heavier than normal periods may signal a problem in your uterus, which is can be safely diagnosed using a hysteroscopy. Dr. Kareen Saunders at The MediSpa & Gynecology in Monroe, New York, has diagnosed and treated many women with abnormal menstrual bleeding. She has extensive experience performing hysteroscopies, so don’t hesitate to consult her about any menstrual concern you encounter.
Dr. Saunders performs a hysteroscopy when she needs to diagnose a problem inside the uterus. During the procedure, a long narrow instrument, the hysteroscope, is guided through the vagina and cervix, then into the uterus. Once it’s in the uterus, a camera on the hysteroscope transmits detailed images of uterine structures making it easier to see the interior structures to diagnose disease.
What conditions can be diagnosed with a hysteroscopy?
You may be a candidate for a hysteroscopy if you have any type of abnormal bleeding, your menstrual periods are heavier or longer than normal, your periods occur more or less frequently than usual, or you have bleeding between menstrual periods. The hysteroscope is also used to take small tissue samples from inside the uterus. When the tissue is examined under a microscope, doctors can identify the type of tissues, and see if they contains abnormal cells that may be cancerous. During a hysteroscopy, Dr. Saunders can:
Verify the location of an intrauterine device
Visualize growths such as fibroids or polyps
Determine the cause of miscarriage
Identify structural abnormalities
Determine reasons for infertility
What conditions are treated with operative hysteroscopy?
In addition to diagnosing health conditions, a hysteroscopy can be used to perform operative procedures. Some of the most common procedures done during a hysteroscopy include:
Removing adhesions that occurred due to prior infection or past surgery
Performing sterilization by placing small implants into the fallopian tubes
Removing polyps and fibroids
Endometrial ablation, using the hysteroscope plus other instruments that heat or freeze tissue to stop uterine bleeding
What can you expect during and after a hysteroscopy?
The procedure is performed using local, regional, or general anesthesia. Before your hysteroscopy, Dr. Saunders explains your anesthesia options, and why one type may be the best for your particular procedure. You’ll be able to go home shortly after the hysteroscopy is finished. While mild cramping and a little bloody discharge are normal following a hysteroscopy, they’ll only last a few days. You should be able to get back to your normal activities without any downtime.