Posts Tagged ‘hysteroscopy’

What are fibroids?

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths made up of muscle tissue. They range from pea-size to 5 to 6 inches across. If you have them, you’re in good company. About 20 to 40 percent of women develop fibroids during their reproductive years, most frequently in their 30s and 40s.

Many women with fibroids have no symptoms, while others have symptoms such as:
– Heavy menstrual bleeding
– Anemia (resulting from heavy menstrual bleeding)
– Abdominal or back pain
– Pain during sex
– Difficulty urinating or frequent urination

Your health care provider may first detect fibroids during a routine pelvic exam. The diagnosis can be confirmed with one or more imaging tests.

Small fibroids usually don’t cause problems during pregnancy and usually require no treatment. However, fibroids occasionally break down during pregnancy, resulting in abdominal pain and low-grade fever. Treatment includes bedrest and pain medication. Multiple or large fibroids may need to be surgically removed, generally before pregnancy, to avoid potential complications associated with pregnancy. Due to pregnancy hormones, fibroids sometimes grow larger during pregnancy. Rarely, large fibroids may block the uterine opening, making a cesarean birth necessary.

Most women with fibroids have healthy pregnancies. However, fibroids can increase the risk of certain pregnancy complications, including:
– Infertility
– Miscarriage
Preterm labor
– Abnormal presentation (such as breech position)
– Cesarean birth (usually due to breech position)
Placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus before birth)
– Heavy bleeding after birth

If a health care provider determines that a woman’s infertility or repeated pregnancy losses are probably caused by fibroids, he may recommend surgery to remove the fibroids. This surgery is called a myomectomy. In some cases, myomectomy can be done during hysteroscopy.

What are uterine adhesions?

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Uterine adhesions, sometimes called Asherman syndrome, are scar tissue that can damage the uterine lining (endometrium). The damage may range from mild to severe. Causes of uterine adhesions can include:

• D&C (dilation and curettage), which may be done after a miscarriage (this is a surgical procedure, in which the cervix is dilated and the uterus is emptied with suction or with an instrument called a curette)
• Other uterine surgery
• Severe infection of the uterine lining (endometritis)

Some women have no symptoms, while others may have light or infrequent menstrual periods. Adhesions can contribute to infertility, repeat miscarriage and premature birth. Imaging tests and hysteroscopy can diagnose adhesions. Adhesions can be removed during hysteroscopy, improving the chances of a normal pregnancy.

What is hysteroscopy?

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

doctorHysteroscopy is a procedure that permits a doctor to view the inside of a woman’s uterus.  A hysteroscope is a thin instrument with a light and camera attached to its end.  It is inserted into the vagina, through the cervix into the uterus and, among other things, can investigate the cause of problems such as repeat miscarriage or infertility.  These problems can include abnormal bleeding; the shape of the uterus; the presence of scar tissue, non-cancerous growths like small fibroids or polyps; the blockage of one or both fallopian tubes.  In many cases, other small instruments can be inserted during a hysteroscopy to remove a blockage, polyp or fibroid and correct the problem.

This procedure usually is performed by a gynecologist in the operating room of a hospital or surgery center. A sedative to help her relax and a local, regional or sometimes general anesthesia usually is given, and most women go home in the same day. In some cases, the hysteroscopy can be done in your doctor’s office.

A gas or fluid is inserted into the uterus through the hysteroscope to help the doctor obtain as clear a picture of the uterus as possible. The image from the camera is projected on a screen for easy viewing. The process takes about 30 minutes, unless corrective procedures or a biopsy of the uterine lining are required which can take a little longer.  A woman may experience some light spotting, cramping and gas pains for a day or so afterward.

A woman who is pregnant, has a vaginal or urinary tract infection, or is known to have cancer of the uterus should not have a hysteroscopy.  This is a safe procedure but some risks do exist, so any woman offered hysteroscopy should discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure with her doctor.