Hysteroscopy, or womb examination, can help diagnose and treat problems that may cause pain infertility.
Hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the womb (uterus). It's carried out using a hysteroscope, which is a narrow telescope with a light and camera at the end. The hysteroscope is passed into your womb through your vagina and cervix (entrance to the womb), which means no cuts need to be made in your skin.
A hysteroscopy can be used to investigate problems such as difficulty of getting pregnant, heavy bleeding, unusual vaginal bleeding, bleeding after menopause and pelvic pain. It can also be used to diagnose conditions such as polyps, fibroids, intrauterine scarring (Ashermans Syndrome) and some congenital anomalies that might interfere with the pregnancy.
Hysteroscopy can also treat conditions such as removing fibroids, polyps, intrauterine scarring and some congenital anomalies (like septum) that might reduce fertility. A hysteroscopy will only be carried out if the benefits are thought to outweigh the risks.
About this treatment
Is hysteroscopy the same as D&C?
Simply NO. Dilatation and curettage (D&C) is a blind procedure, which was commonly used in the past, but nowadays hysteroscopy is carried out (safer and offers direct vision).
What happens during hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is usually carried out on an outpatient (you are awake) or day-case under general anaesthesia. This means you don’t have to stay in hospital overnight.
During a hysteroscopy you lie on a couch then an instrument called a speculum may be inserted after which the hysteroscope is passed into your womb and fluid is gently pumped inside to make it easier for your doctor to see
What should I expect after hysteroscopy?
Most women feel well and able to return back to their normal activities the following day, some women return to work the same day. If the hysteroscopy was performed under general anaesthesia then you may wish to have a few days off.
- You can eat and drink as normal straight away
- You may experience cramping which is similar to period pain, you also may notice spotting or bleeding for a few days – this is normal and nothing to worry about unless it’s heavy.
- You should avoid having sex for a week, or until any bleeding has stopped, to reduce the risk of infection.
- The findings of the procedure with you before you leave hospital.
What are the risks of hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is generally very safe, however, like any procedure there is a small risk of complications. The risk increases women who have treatment during a hysteroscopy albeit it still uncommon.
Main risks associated with a hysteroscopy are:
- Accidental damage to the womb: this is uncommon, but may require treatment with antibiotics in hospital or, in rare occasions operation to repair it.
- Accidental damage to the cervix: this is rare and can usually be easily repaired.
- Excessive bleeding during or after surgery: this can occur if you had treatment under general anesthetics and can be treated with medication or another procedure; very rarely it may be necessary to remove the womb.
- Infection of the womb: this can cause smelly vaginal discharge, fever and sometimes heavy bleeding. It can usually be treated with a short course of antibiotics.
- Feeling faint: this affects 1 in every 200 women who have a hysteroscopy carried out without anaesthetics or if local anaesthetics was only used. It usually resolves after few minutes.
About your consultant gynaecologist
Mr. Moiad Alazzam graduated from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) in 1997. He gained wide experience while training and rotating through jobs in JUST University Jordan, Glasgow, Cambridge, Sheffield and France.
In 2010, Mr. Alazzam gained his generalist and subspecialist CCST having completed his training in all aspects of obstetrics and gynaecology and gynaecological oncology. He then undertook further fellowships in robotic surgery (Cork, Ireland) and advanced laparoscopic surgery (Lille, France).
Mr. Alazzam moved to Ireland in 2011 where he started the first dedicated gynaecological robotic surgery service in the private sector in Ireland. He then moved to the UPMC Beacon Hospital where he established the gynaecology cancer services. Mr. Alazzam is widely published; he served as a senior council member (BSGE). He is frequent lecturer in international conferences. He is a strong advocate of improving women health and campaigns to raise awareness of endometriosis in Ireland and for early cervical cancer screening in the Middle East.
Mr. Alazzam is fully trained in the management of all benign and malignant gynaecological problems including pre-malignant conditions (CIN/VAIN/VIN). Mr. Alazzam is expert in gynaecological surgery including, Hysteroscopic surgery, Laparoscopic surgery, Prolapse surgery, Open surgery. Outside of medicine, Mr. Alazzam has a busy family life, as he is married with two young children.