The hysteroscopy is performed at a healthcare facility (it does not require operating theatre facilities) and requires no premedication or any specific preparation.
- Hysteroscopy procedures are performed between the 5th and the 14th day of the menstrual cycle*. This is to: better view the uterine area (because the patient’s period is finished) and to ensure the absence of pregnancy (because this time period occurs before ovulation). When you book in for a hysteroscopy, it is important to give the date of the start of your last cycle.
*This does not apply to women experiencing the menopause or receiving treatment (contraception) to block their menstrual cycle.
- When the endoscope that is used is very thin and when the method for distending the uterine cavity is “gentle” (using low pressure saline solution), then diagnostic hysteroscopy procedures are relatively painless (scoring just 2/10 on a pain scale).
- No special medical preparation or medication is required before a diagnostic hysteroscopy is performed.
- The patient lies on a gynecology table and the clinician inserts a speculum to gain access to the cervix (this can sometimes be the most uncomfortable part of the procedure). The vaginal area is cleansed with an antiseptic solution that does not sting.
- A hysteroscope (type of endoscope) is inserted into the cervix. This is linked to a light source and a saline delivery tube. The saline solution is used to expand the uterine cavity (to facilitate viewing). Sometimes a camera hooked up to a TV monitor is used to share images or they can be stored on a USB (Flash) key or printed out.
- Technically speaking, the examination begins with viewing the endocervix, then the uterine cavity and onwards to the openings of the Fallopian tubes (although these are not viewed); the examination lasts for about one or two minutes.
- In general patients do not experience any pain after hysteroscopy procedures, although they may have some light bleeding for a few hours. Similarly, patients generally do not require specific treatment after this procedure.
- Detailed hysteroscopy results are then sent to the patient’s doctor. The results include specific references (for traceability) to the endoscope that was used for the procedure.
- When an abnormality is picked up during the hysteroscopy, the clinician advises as to whether to correct it surgically. When the clinician proceeds to a second corrective intervention, this is called an operative hysteroscopy.