If you’re having heavy menstrual periods and severe cramping, or your doctor needs to know more about your reproductive health, they may recommend you have a hysteroscopy. It is usually recommended when your doctor has noticed something strange during an HSG or saline sonogram. Sometimes both these tests are normal, but other issues (pregnancy loss, bleeding, IVF failure) may indicate hysteroscopy. During a hysteroscopy, your doctor inserts a hysteroscope – a thin tube with light on the end – into your vagina. They’ll be able to see into your cervix and inside your uterus. If they find anything abnormal, they can take a sample for later testing.
They can then easily detect any irregularities. Septums, uterine polyps (benign overgrowths of the lining), and some fibroids can be carefully removed. Hysteroscopy is considered the gold-standard treatment for growths like polyps, which are too often missed during blind D & Cs.
Among the most common reasons for a hysteroscopy are periods that are longer or heavier than normal, or bleeding between periods.
Depending on where the procedure falls in your cycle and why it’s being done, you may be prescribed birth control pills to keep your lining thin and make it easier for your doctor to figure out what’s going on.
Most hysteroscopies are performed as outpatient surgeries under general anesthesia. This means you will need someone to take you to and from the surgery, and you will have to fast. Make sure you understand exactly what’s expected by the particular surgical center, as they often have varying protocols.
Once you’ve arrived at the surgical center, you’ll have an IV started and may be given a pregnancy test.
After your doctor and anesthesiologist have spoken to you briefly to review what’s about to happen, you’ll be taken into the operating room.
Though hysteroscopies do not involve any incisions, the dilation and activity in the uterus do lead to unpleasant cramping, pain, and bleeding.
Though you’ll likely get a pad from the center to deal with the bleeding, You may also want to wear comfy clothing like a loose dress or sweats and take a cardigan, hoodie, or other cozy wrap to keep you warm before and after surgery. Bring your favorite pillow to keep the pressure of the seat belt off your belly for the ride home, and snacks for the trip home like juice, yogurt, and water. Stock up beforehand on some tasty, nourishing, fairly bland and soft comfort foods for the evening after surgery.
After a few days, you’ll likely be feeling pretty good, if not completely back to normal. If you can manage it, take it easy the day of and the day after the procedure. Get some good books, good movies, treats, and take really good care of yourself. You may have some spotting or bleeding for a few days afterward.
Ask your doctor before you go under about post-op follow up, signs that you need additional medical assistance, and how long you should avoid tampons, sex, and any other cervical annoyances.
Rest is the most important part of recovery. The more you sleep now, the better you’ll feel in the long run.
Hot water bottles are always good at comforting stomach cramps & keeping hydrated with warming drinks like tea & hot water with lemon.