The hysteroscope is a small, telescope used through the vagina for visual examination of the cervix and the inside portions of the uterus.

There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend a hysteroscopic procedure. One of the more common reasons is for evaluation and treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding. A hysteroscope may also be used for the work up of infertility, to search for possible causes of habitual abortion or to locate an IUD (intrauterine device). The hysteroscope may also be used for evaluation of uterine abnormalities such as uterine polyps, fibroids or adhesions (e.g., Asherman’s syndrome).  It may also be used for the placement of nickel inserts for the ESSURE tubal sterilization procedure.

Hysteroscopy is a procedure that may be performed in the doctor’s office, an outpatient facility or a hospital. It can be performed under a general or a local anesthetic. It is sometimes done in conjunction with a laparoscopy, hysteron-salpingogram, and/or an endometrial biopsy.

Procedure Description

In order to perform a hysteroscopic examination, the urinary bladder is drained and the cervix is gradually dilated to pass the hysteroscope. Saline fluid is used to distend the uterine cavity to improve visualization and allow any operative manipulations to be performed. The hysteroscope is passed through the vagina and cervix into the uterine cavity for viewing. Video monitoring is often used at the same time. A variety of instruments are available for use in hysteroscopic procedures including microscissors, special clamps with electrocautery attachment, wire loops for excision and lasers when needed.

Possible complications of the procedure include uterine perforation,excessive bleeding and pelvic infection.

Following the procedure, your vital signs will be monitored for a period of time. Medicine for pain may be given during or after the procedure. In some surgical procedures, estrogen may be prescribed to promote regrowth of the uterine lining. You may use nonprescription drugs, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for minor cramping. Antibiotics may be prescribed prior to the procedure to prevent infection. Avoid sexual intercourse for 2 weeks or as directed.