When you visit Her Wellness for your annual exam, Dr. Garritano or Christina may see symptoms that need further examination – or you may mention a problem. Depending upon what symptoms need a further look, we may schedule an ultrasound, MRI or a hysteroscopy.
Why are uterine hysteroscopies performed?
A uterine hysteroscopy is typically performed to diagnose problems or a disorder in the uterus. The most common reason we would recommend a hysteroscopy is to identify the cause of irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding. Other reasons we recommend a uterine hysteroscopy include:
- Remove polyps or fibroids from the uterus
- Treat uterine adhesions
- Diagnose a uterine septum
- Explores possible causes of infertility issues
- Locate an IUD
- Remove placental tissue after birth
While a uterine hysteroscopy is considered a common and minor medical procedure, Her Wellness understands that such a test can be nerve wracking if you don’t know what to expect.
What happens during a uterine hysteroscopy?
A uterine hysteroscopy is an outpatient procedure that can be done in Her Wellness’ offices. Dr. Garritano will examine the uterus vaginally with the hysteroscope, a thin, lighted tube that is inserted through the cervix. The main purpose of a hysteroscopy is to collect information, but it may also act as treatment if we find issues that can be solved during the procedure, such as the removal of a uterine polyp.
Prior to the procedure, you will be required to give consent for Her Wellness to treat issues that may be discovered. In the event that we do uncover immediately treatable issues, tools will be passed through the tube to remove polyps, adhesions, placental tissue, or to correct the placement of an IUD.
You will be given a suppository medication called Misoprostal to insert into your vagina the night before the procedure. This will soften the cervix and make it easier for Dr. Garritano to insert the hysteroscope.
When you are being prepared for the procedure, Her Wellness providers will administer a local anesthetic to block pain as you will be awake during your hysteroscopy.
Dr. Garritano will insert a speculum, just like a normal pelvic exam, and apply lidocaine both topically and via a small injection into the cervix. The cervix needs to be open in order for the tube to travel through it and into the uterus. Dr. Garritano may open the cervix with a small dilator. This may cause some cramping but should not be too uncomfortable.
After the cervix is opened, Dr. Garritano will apply additional numbing medication directly into the uterus and then insert the hysteroscope, moving it past the open cervix and into the uterus. To see the lining of the uterus more clearly, we will expand the uterus slightly by administering a small amount of saline solution through the hysteroscope.
Dr. Garritano will then examine the uterus lining and the opening of the fallopian tubes. Any necessary biopsies or procedures will be performed. These may include locating and removing a misplaced IUD, verifying fallopian tube blockage, removing polyps in the uterine lining or other indicated procedures.
Immediately after the procedure, you may feel light-headed or cramping. You may experience light cramping and bleeding for the following few days. If bleeding increases or is excessive, call our office immediately.
What are optimal results of a uterine hysteroscopy?
Once the procedure is complete, ideally Dr. Garritano will report that she was able to get a clear view of the uterus lining and fallopian tubes, performed the exam and conducted any biopsy or removal of undesirable tissue.
We understand that undergoing any medical procedure is a little scary, no matter how routine it is. We also understand that no procedure is ever routine when it’s happening to you. Dr. Garritano and Christina are always here to answer your questions, thoroughly explain any recommended procedure and decide together if any treatment options are necessary.
When you are experiencing any menstrual irregularity, pain or cramping, or unusual bleeding, no matter how light, call Her Wellness at 203-409-2539 immediately. These symptoms can be signs of serious health conditions that should be diagnosed and treated promptly.