Diagnostic Hysteroscopy: Risks, How to Prepare & What to Expect

By Stacey Dicerbo Updated on

What is a Hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is a procedure that makes it possible to look inside the uterus without an abdominal incision.   A small tube is inserted in the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus so the inner surface of the uterus can be examined.  The uterus is filled with a solution of normal saline to expand and visualize the inner walls of the uterus.

Why is a hysteroscopy being performed?
Hysteroscopy is an excellent evaluation tool used to evaluate the endometrium and look at the inside lining of the uterus.  It provides an accurate diagnosis of fibroids or polyps or any other abnormal conditions of the uterus.
What are the risks of a hysteroscopy?
There are risks to any procedure.  Although the risks with a hysteroscopy are rare, they may occur in 3-6% of women and it is important you are informed of these risks.

  • Fluid overload-too much fluid absorbed in the blood from the uterus
  • Changes in the balance of water and salt in the blood
  • Fluid collection in the brain (cerebral edema) or the lungs (pulmonary edema)
  • Injury to the lining of the uterus including puncture of the uterus (perforation) and bleeding or hemorrhage
  • Infection

How should I prepare for the procedure?
One hour prior to the procedure please take 800mg of Ibuprofen orally.   You may eat or drink what you like.  There are no restrictions. Arrive at the office ½ hour prior to the scheduled procedure.  You may empty your bladder upon arrival to the office.  You will have blood drawn for a pregnancy test upon arrival to the office.
What should I expect after the procedure?
You may have mild cramping that feels similar to menstrual cramps. You may continue to take Ibuprofen for any cramping, following the instructions on the bottle. You may have slight vaginal bleeding or spotting that may last for a week: Use peri-pads for any vaginal discharge.  Do not use tampons.
Notify the office of any of the following abnormal symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding more than one maxi pad per hour
  • Severe abdominal pain not controlled with ibuprofen administration.
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, or headache
  • Refrain from intercourse for one week.

You may be able to visualize the actual procedure while it is being performed.  The doctor will discuss the results of your test with you.  A normal test means no abnormalities were found.  An abnormal test means there are abnormal tissue growths, fibroids, scar tissue, areas of active bleeding, or other abnormal conditions within the uterine cavity.  Further surgical procedures may be advised and discussed at this time.
Our goal is to make this as easy as possible for you and your family.  Please call us at 315-469-8700 (Syracuse) or 518-690-0700 (Albany) with any questions or concerns regarding your hysteroscopy.
Stacey Dicerbo, RNC
CNY Fertility Center, Latham, NY
866.375.4589 (toll free)