Advanced Female Fertility Tests - Hysteroscopy
A hysteroscopy is a female fertility testing tool that can help to evaluate uterine complications that can be causing fertility problems. As such, a hysteroscopy is a female infertility test that can be instrumental in establishing an appropriate infertility treatment plan.
What is A Hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is a medical procedure that allows a health care provider examine the uterine cavity in order to assess for uterine irregularities that may be causing female fertility problems.
During this infertility test, a narrow instrument known as a hysteroscope is placed into the vagina through the cervix and up into the uterus. A hysteroscopy functions like a telescope in that it allows for a detailed analysis of the uterus.
There are two types of hysteroscopy procedures: a diagnostic hysteroscopy and an operative hysteroscopy. A diagnostic hysteroscopy is used in order to detect problems inside the uterus while an operative hysteroscopy is part of a surgical procedure in the treatment of female fertility problems.
A Hysteroscopy and Infertility
A hysteroscopy can help detect uterine problems that can lead to infertility, such as:
- uterine fibroids
- uterine cysts
- uterine adhesions
- septate uterus (in which the uterus is divided into two sections)
However, the above conditions do not mean that conception cannot occur. In fact, many women with such uterine abnormalities do become pregnant. Nonetheless, these conditions do make carrying a pregnancy to term very difficult and thus often result in pregnancy loss. For example, a small or irregularly shaped uterus often results in a high risk for ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth.
A hysteroscopy is usually performed for women who have the following conditions:
- irregular bleeding
- pelvic or uterine pain
- frequent miscarriage
- unexplained infertility
A hysteroscopy can either be performed at a hospital on an outpatient basis or at a fertility clinic.
During a diagnostic hysteroscopy procedure, the vagina and cervix are washed using a special solution. A local anaesthetic is then injected into the cervix in order to minimize any discomfort. A hysteroscope is placed inside the cervix and carbon dioxide and water are pumped into the uterus in order to enlarge it so that your health care provider can examine your uterus in detail using a hysteroscope with a light attached to it.
If complications are found, an operative hysteroscopy can help remove uterine cysts or uterine fibroids.
Complications of a hysteroscopy procedure include:
- vaginal bleeding
- uterine infection
- perforated uterus
- allergic reaction to anaesthetic