Did you know Uterine polyps have been shown to decrease pregnancy rates by up to 50%? This is just one reason you may want to talk with your doctor about getting an in-office procedure called a hysteroscopy.
Hysteroscopy is a common in office or outpatient procedure performed in our fertility clinic. But how do hysteroscopic procedures improve fertility and uterine health and is the procedure right for you?
A hysteroscope is a small surgical instrument similar to a telescope. It allows your physician to see on the inside of your uterus. This small telescope is inserted through the cervix and sterile water is placed on the inside to open the cavity and allow visualization. This is a minimally invasive approach which means there are no scars on the belly and this instrument is simply just placed through the cervix. In our office this instrument is 3 mm in diameter and does not even require the cervix to be dilated. Using this procedure, fertility specialists can view the inside of the uterus which can lead to a diagnosis but also allows treatment of problems inside the uterus that contribute to infertility.
Common causes of uterine contributors to infertility include scar tissue, uterine polyps, and uterine fibroids. Your doctor will first start with an assessment of the uterus. This usually will start with the use of a transvaginal ultrasound which is a great test as an initial understanding of the outer contour of the uterus and endometrial lining. To better understand the the inside of the uterus, a saline sonogram or hysterosalpingogram can be used to introduce fluid or dye into the endometrial cavity while looking with ultrasound or an x-ray. These are all considered screening tests for problems inside the uterus and the ultimate diagnostic test is use of a hysteroscopy (You can learn more about our Infertility Evaluation by clicking here).
If your doctor has identified a possible concern with the uterus, they may recommend hysteroscopy as the next step. Uterine polyps for example have been shown to decrease pregnancy rates by up to 50% and are a common problem that can be treated with an in office with a hysteroscopy. A healthy uterus is only one component to addressing fertility concerns and your doctor will help to not only evaluate the uterus but also think of the other factors. If needed, a hysteroscopy is a great tool for both diagnosis and treatment.