An article that answers the most frequently asked questions of postmenopausal women about this endoscopic examination useful for ascertaining the causes of abnormal discharge.
Diagnostic hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive (minimally invasive) endoscopic examination that allows you to explore the uterine cavity and cervix using a micro camera mounted on a probe . It is performed in the laboratory and does not require anesthesia . It does not cause pain but only a slight discomfort .
In most cases, the gynecologist requires diagnostic hysteroscopy (it is a so-called level II examination therefore it is performed only on the doctor’s prescription ) when he finds abnormalities in the transvaginal ultrasound or in the Pap test and further investigation is deemed necessary.
If this is your case or you just want to know more, read this article: it will help you to dispel your doubts and, above all, to dispel any fears about this exam.
Does hysteroscopy hurt?
Lots of questions on social networks, lots of questions asked to search engines. The fear that it is a painful exam is common.
First of all we want to reassure you, saying that if you are calm and relaxed you will not feel any pain , at most a little discomfort similar to mild menstrual pain . These are small uterine contractions that can occur especially if you are tense .
The instrument with which this investigation is carried out is an optical fiber 3 to 5 millimeters thick . A highly technological filament that allows you to see the uterine cavities and cervix through a micro camera. The exam takes about 20 minutes, takes place in the doctor’s office and you can go home right away.
If you are particularly fearful or fear that anxiety will make you feel more pain than expected, you can tell the gynecologist who may advise you to take a pain reliever half an hour before the exam or an antispasmodic to ease uterine tension and facilitate the passage of the probe without resistance (and therefore pain). But it is generally not necessary.
When it is necessary to undergo diagnostic hysteroscopy
The most frequent case in which this endoscopic technique is used is that of abnormal blood loss in menopause , whether it is “false menstruation” or so – called spotting .
Diagnostic hysteroscopy is also used during the fertile life to investigate the causes of the cycle with very abundant flow , a disorder that can be frequent in perimenopause . Generally it is a physiological event, determined by the phase of transition and adaptation of the body to the new hormonal level, however the gynecologist may want to investigate especially if you have some warning that may suggest:
- polyps and fibroids : they originate from growths of the endometrium (the tissue located inside the uterus) that grow out of their natural location
- endometrial hyperplasia : these are due to the proliferation of mucosal cells in the endometrium and result in blood loss
The abnormal blood loss, however, can also be the light-symptom of a very common disease in menopause: the ‘ Atrophy Vaginal vulva , a chronic and progressive condition that afflicts 1 in 2 women after age 50. For all these reasons it is always good to report any anomalies to an experienced gynecologist in menopause .
How diagnostic hysteroscopy is performed
The examination is performed on the gynecological table by introducing a very thin probe, the hysteroscope (the diameter is between 3 and 5 mm ) through the cervix . In this way it is possible to have a precise view of the uterine cavity and the base of the tubes on the monitor in order to identify the presence of anomalies.
Before carrying out this procedure, in order to stretch the uterine cavity to favor a better vision, a simple physiological solution is inserted into the uterus . Once the uterine exploration is complete, the exam is finished. Overall, all steps take 15-20 minutes .
Differences between diagnostic hysteroscopy and operative hysteroscopy
Hysteroscopy is a technique that can allow, after the diagnostic practice , also the operative one .
If necessary, with the same instrument and at the same time as the diagnostic examination it is possible to directly remove uterine malformations such as polyps or fibroids . The advantage is that of not having to resort to surgical interventions but of being able to take advantage of the minimally invasive surgical technique that this procedure allows to apply.
In the case of an operative hysteroscopy, however, the doctor will warn you in time , also because the procedure cannot be performed in the clinic : it is in effect a small operation and therefore must be performed in the operating room because an appeal is necessary. to local anesthesia. A day hospital is usually sufficient followed by a few days of rest at home.