A hysteroscopy is a way for your doctor to look at the lining of your uterus. He or she uses a thin viewing tool called a hysteroscope. The tip of the hysteroscope is put into your vagina and gently moved through the cervix into the uterus. The hysteroscope has a light and camera hooked to it so your doctor can see the lining (endometrium) on a video screen.
A hysteroscopy may be done to find the cause of abnormal bleeding or bleeding that occurs after a woman has passed menopause. It also may be done to see if a problem in your uterus is preventing you from becoming pregnant (infertility). A hysteroscopy can be used to remove growths in the uterus, such as fibroids or polyps.
Your doctor may take a small sample of tissue (biopsy). The sample is looked at under a microscope for problems. Another surgery, called a laparoscopy, may also be done at the same time as a hysteroscopy if infertility is a problem.
Why It Is Done
A hysteroscopy may be done to:
- Find the cause of severe cramping or abnormal bleeding. Your doctor can pass heated tools through the hysteroscope to stop the bleeding.
- See whether a problem in the shape or size of the uterus or if scar tissue in the uterus is the cause of infertility.
- Look at the uterine openings to the fallopian tubes. If the tubes are blocked, your doctor may be able to open the tubes with special tools passed through the hysteroscope.
- Find the possible cause of repeated miscarriages. Other tests may also be done.
- Find and reposition a misplaced intrauterine device (IUD).
- Find and remove small fibroids or polyps.
- Check for endometrial cancer.
- Use heated tools to remove problem areas in the lining of the uterus (endometrial ablation).
- Place a contraceptive implant (Essure) into the opening of the fallopian tubes as a method of permanent sterilization.