Published: Dec. 9, 2008
Updated: Sept. 8, 2010
Hysteroscopy is a common procedure in gynecology that is used to diagnose the cause of irregular or heavy bleeding or to confirm findings from an examination or ultrasound.
Hysteroscopy is offered by the specialists in the Duke Center for Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery. The procedure is performed in the office and is usually well tolerated.
Prior to the procedure you can take a single dose of ibuprofen, 600-800 mg, one hour before the procedure is scheduled to begin. (Ask your doctor if you have any questions about whether you are able to take this medication safely.)
Occasionally, your doctor may recommend additional medications to take prior to the procedure.
The doctor will spray some local anesthetic onto your cervix and may decide to use an additional injection of local anesthetic (lidocaine, bupivacaine).
Then, a small, flexible telescope will be introduced through the cervix and into the uterus while instilling sterile fluid. You can expect to feel some cramping during the procedure. The intensity of the cramping varies from person to person. Some women feel very little pain. Occasionally, a woman will have severe menstrual cramps.
Complications from the procedure are uncommon but could include infection, bleeding, and perforation of the uterus, and in rare cases, damage to internal organs.
You will have a few minutes to relax and then you may get dressed. Your doctor will speak with you and arrange for appropriate follow-up care, and the nurse will confirm that you are feeling well.
If you are feeling well and you have not taken any sedative medications, you should be able to go about your usual daily activities, with the exception of sexual activity, which you should avoid for a few days.
Call your doctor or go to the emergency room if you experience persistent fever (higher than 100.5 degrees F), chills, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty urinating, heavy vaginal bleeding, dizziness, or any other concerning symptoms.
If you have any questions during business hours, please call 919-660-2370.
If you develop a fever of 100.5 degrees or higher, please call 919-684-8111 and ask to speak to your doctor or the gynecology resident physician on call.