Hysteroscopy for Infertility: Procedure, Risks & Complications

Hysteroscopy for Infertility – How Does It Improve Fertility?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sukriti Sharma (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Many women tend to suffer from various kinds of health complications that may lead to infertility, and sometimes these complications can be difficult to diagnose. But there are certain procedures that can help the doctor identify the issues and suggest correct treatment for various infertility issues. One such procedure is hysteroscopy. Read this article to know more hysteroscopy in detail.

What Is Hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is a medical procedure that involves the examination of a woman’s uterus and cervix by making use of a medical instrument called a hysteroscope, which is inserted in a woman’s vagina. This procedure not only helps in diagnosing various uterine complications but also in rectifying them.

What Is a Hysteroscope?

Hysteroscope is a narrow medical instrument, which comes with a camera and an integrated light source. This aids the doctor in visually examining the uterine cavity and cervix by inserting it into the woman’s vagina. The camera takes the images and helps the doctor assess if any complications exist and whether or not any corrective procedure is required.

What Is a Hysteroscope?

Why Do You Need to Undergo this Procedure?

Your doctor may recommend you to undergo hysteroscopy in the following circumstances:

  • If you are experiencing any uterine bleeding.
  • If your pap smear tests are not normal.
  • If you are bleeding after menopause.
  • If you require the removal of the endometrial lining.
  • If you require the removal of small tissue for biopsy.
  • If you wish to get small birth control inserts in your fallopian tube.
  • If your doctor needs to examine and remove polyps, fibroids, or scarring.

Does Hysteroscopy Improve Fertility?

In the present scenario where women are battling with more and more infertility issues, you may want to know the role of hysteroscopy in infertility. Well, it cannot be defined in black or white. Women who suffer from issues such as endometrial polyps, submucous fibroids, adhesion, or septum may face infertility issues because of difficulty in fertilization or implantation of the egg. Sometimes these issues may get rectified by performing hysteroscopy and may increase a woman’s chances of getting pregnant; however, this may not be true in all cases.

How to Prepare for the Hysteroscopy Procedure

Your doctor will explain you the procedure. If you have any kind of medicinal allergies, bleeding disorders or you are pregnant, inform your doctor. Don’t hide anything from your doctor. Your doctor will assess your health to check whether you are ready to undergo this procedure. It will be a good idea to dress in comfortable clothes. You may ask someone to accompany you as you will be sedated for the procedure and may find it difficult to go back home on your own.

What Happens During the Procedure?

What Happens During the Procedure?

In most cases you may be allowed to go home on the same day, however, if your doctor feels the need, you may have to stay overnight too. The intricacy of the procedure depends on your health and the complications that you may be suffering.

Following are the course of events that are likely to happen during the procedure:

  • You will have to change into hospital clothes.
  • The hospital staff would request you to empty your bladder for the procedure.
  • You will be told to lie down on your back with your legs wide open.
  • Your doctor will put an IV and clean your vagina with an antiseptic solution.
  • A hysteroscope will be inserted in your vagina once it is dilated.
  • For a better view, your doctor will push some gas or liquid-like saline through the hysteroscope to expand your uterus.
  • Your doctor will take pictures; assess the problems in the uterus or the cervix.
  • In case a corrective procedure needs to be performed such as removal of fibroids, your doctor may insert the tools through the hysteroscope.
  • Your doctor will take out the hysteroscope after the procedure is finished.

What to Expect After the Procedure

You may be allowed to go home after the procedure is over. However, in case you were given general anesthesia, your doctor may keep you under observation for some time and will monitor your heart rate along with blood pressure. You may experience mild cramping or bleeding for a few days after the procedure. You may feel bloated or gassy too for a day or two after the surgery. If you are wondering how long after hysteroscopy you can get pregnant, then we advise that you avoid sexual intercourse for at least two weeks to let your body recover from the procedure.

The Effectiveness of Hysteroscopy in Increasing the Chances of Conception

Hysteroscopy involves removing the probable triggers of infertility such as polyps, fibroids, septum, adhesions, abnormal bleeding etc., thus it may increase the chances of pregnancy. However, there is not enough scientific evidence available to prove the same.

What Are the Possible Risks and Complications?

Although hysteroscopy is a safe procedure, sometimes complications may arise. Some complications that may arise are discussed below:

1. Infections

The procedure involves passing hysteroscope through a woman’s vagina, which harbours many kinds of bacteria. The instrument may carry bacteria from the vagina to the uterus and may cause infections.

2. Excessive Bleeding

Hysteroscopy is an invasive procedure and thus sometimes may lead to excessive bleeding too.

4. Fluid Overload

The saline water used for uterine distension is usually absorbed by the body but if not absorbed it may lead to life-threatening complications. However, this may happen in rare cases.

5. Uterine Perforation

Uterine perforation or a hole in the uterus may happen; though the chances are rare, if it happens, your doctor will be required to perform additional corrective surgery.

6. Damage to the Internal Organs

This may happen if uterine perforation has occurred, and thus it may further damage other internal organs. If it remains undetected, it could lead to internal bleeding.

Menstrual Cycle After Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy may affect your menstrual cycle, where some woman may experience delay others may have it earlier than their usual time. You may also experience heavy bleeding, and your cycle may be longer than usual too, but it may not affect your ovulation. All women are different and thus they may experience different cycles.

There is no conclusive evidence that supports the positive effects of hysteroscopy on infertility; however, if you are considering getting a hysteroscopy done, you should talk to your doctor and know your options.

Also Read: Laparoscopy – Treatment to Improve Infertility

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