A hysteroscopy is used to diagnose and treat problems of the uterus or womb. The procedure involves a thin, telescope-like camera inserted into the uterus via the vagina. The camera has a light on the end and is called a hysteroscope.
A diagnostic hysteroscopy is carried out to investigate abnormal uterine bleeding. Abnormal bleeding is defined as menstrual periods becoming heavier, happening more frequently or lasting longer than usual. Abnormal bleeding can also occur in prepubescent or postmenopausal women, while bleeding between periods is another abnormality.
A second type of hysteroscopy called an operative hysteroscopy uses the hysteroscope as a surgical tool.
Besides abnormal bleeding, a woman may need to undergo a diagnostic hysteroscopy for reasons that include:
- To diagnose the cause of repeated miscarriages. This tends to be if a woman suffers two miscarriages in a row.
- To diagnose some conditions, such as fibroids or polyps, which are non-cancerous growths in the womb.
- To investigate fertility issues if becoming pregnant is a problem.
- To investigate pelvic pain that is being experienced by a woman
This procedure can be used in the following circumstances:
- To remove adhesions. These are scars that bind tissues together inside the uterus and may have occurred following infection or surgery. Adhesions can stop periods and reduce fertility.
- To locate and remove an intrauterine device inserted into the uterus for birth control.
- To remove fibroids or growths.
- To perform a sterilization procedure.
- To take a biopsy of tissue for further investigations.