You might have been recommended for a hysteroscopy, and now you’re wondering why. We’re here to give you some more insight and answer any questions you might have. At Lively Wellness & Aesthetics in Odessa, TX, we are well-versed on this invaluable tool for evaluating the female reproductive system.
What Can a Hysteroscopy Detect?
Hysteroscopies allow us to visually examine the insides of your uterus and cervix. The exam can prove useful as a pap smear follow-up because we can lay eyes on anything unusual that may have come up during the pap smear. If you have experienced irregular bleeding or especially heavy bleeding (before menstruation, during menstruation, or even during menopause) from the reproductive tracts, this tool can also help us identify the cause.
A diagnostic hysteroscopy is the form we commonly use for detection. The following diagnoses may result from hysteroscopies:
Polyps and Fibroids
These masses of tissue can grow on the inside lining of the uterus. They are typically non-cancerous, but you might need to have them removed to keep pain, pressure on nearby organs, or bleeding from developing. We can take a tissue sample to confirm the presence of the polyp or fibroid. In fact, collecting these samples by way of a biopsy remains one of the most common uses for hysteroscopies.
The human papillomavirus) (HPV) may infect the cervix’s inner lining cells and cause pre-cancerous changes to take place. Hysteroscopies can play a pivotal role in finding these alterations in reproductive tissue. We can also get a read on the severity of the changes. As such, this tool may be one of your best friends in cancer prevention.
More commonly referenced as adhesions, these scar tissue bands also may develop inside the uterus. They could be the culprit behind your menstrual blood variations or your fertility issues. Scars may have resulted from surgery or other previous gynecological treatments. Locating these bands is important for us to help guide you on the road to recovery.
Just as with many other parts of the body, abnormalities present from the time of birth, through no fault of your own, can form in the uterus. This specific condition simply means that your uterus has malformed and become irregularly shaped in some way. Understanding the unique anatomy of your reproductive organs can offer important avenues for treating medical conditions or addressing issues of fertility.
Fertility and Birth
As a guidepost for the reproductive tract, a hysteroscopy can aid and assist with multiple purposes surrounding conception and birth, such as the following:
This process can give us valuable information regarding the root causes of infertility, which may include some of the conditions detailed above. Also, if you want to undergo voluntary permanent sterilization, hysteroscopies provide a crucial roadmap for this step.
If you’ve recently given birth, hysteroscopies can detect a retained placenta. We can then flag this or other after-birth remnants for removal.
Many women have this device, made of polyethylene plastic and barium, inserted into their uterus as a form of birth control. Occasionally, the object may shift into an uncomfortable position, contributing to painful effects like pelvic inflammatory disease and significant bleeding. Hysteroscopies can determine if an IUD is misplaced and therefore can afford us needed guidance on the next steps for your treatment.
After Your Diagnosis
We can pair a diagnostic hysteroscopy with other processes that examine different parts of your reproductive tract so that we may develop the best, most effective treatment plan for you. For example, we may make use of a therapeutic hysteroscopy, which helps us treat rather than diagnose medical conditions.
Here are a few of the treatment approaches that may come into play after diagnostic hysteroscopies:
If you experience heavy bleeding and you have decided that you do not want to have children, we might recommend endometrial ablation. This treatment removes the inner lining of the uterus and may be determined as a proper course of action following your hysteroscopy.
A myomectomy, or fibroidectomy, removes fibroid masses from your uterus via surgery. This treatment option is less invasive than a total hysterectomy because it preserves your uterus and your reproductive capability.
Similarly, we may detect the need for a polypectomy, which takes place when polyps are surgically removed.
IUD Removal or Placement
In addition to identifying a problem IUD, examining your inner uterus may assist us in getting a good read on how to insert a birth control device. If you later decide that you want to conceive, we can remove the IUD.
One-Stop Doc for Your Wellness Needs
If you or someone you know could benefit from a hysteroscopy, you’ll want a trained and qualified professional to answer all your questions and guide you through this process. As your One-Stop Doc, Dr. Charles A. Lively makes detailed treatment plans designed to inform and help you a top priority. With more than two decades of experience and certification by the America Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Lively prides himself on personalized, patient-centered gynecological care.
Book your appointment today at Lively Wellness and Aesthetics in Odessa, TX to consult with Dr. Lively about an in-office, low-stress hysteroscopy or any of your other wellness needs.