Hysteroscopy.

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi ladies, a post about having a hysteroscopy, because I thought it may be useful to some of you.

Several weeks ago, after brown spotting, I was referred by my GP for a pelvic ultrasound because I am 54 and 2 years post menopausal.  I had a transvaginal ultrasound which was fine and almost relaxing!  It showed a thickened endometrium, which was 6mm...the guidline is that 3 is 'normal',

post menopause.

I then saw a gynacologist who took a couple of endometrial biopsies, a pretty uncomfortable experience but it only took a couple of minutes, and nothing to be dreaded.  There was a tiny amount of bleeding afterwards and I felt a bit crampy that evening, but really nothing.

(The biopsies were actually insufficient to be tested but I only found that out when I went for a scheduled hysteroscopy yesterday.)

I had the hysteroscopy yesterday and had been dreading it after googling 'is a hysteroscopy painful?'.  I read that it is a 'barbaric' procedure, that it shouldn't be done without general anaethesia (they ask that you take ibuprofen and paracetamol beforehand) and that some ladies are in pain and in bed for days afterwards.  I went to the hospital with utter dread and was actually hoping - after being late - that they'd send me home! 

After a quick paperwork check you remove bottom half clothes, get onto a strangely shaped bed, legs up on rests (how elegant, not!) and a very tiny flexible camera is inserted.  You can see your cervix on a screen, and then follow the journey of the camera.

I won't lie, it is very painful, but they tell you how to breathe (just like havng a baby) and you can stop at any time.  I didn't because I figured it would just take longer.  The very worst pain was in my lower back but it was over very quickly.  Afterwards they give you a pad because there will be a little bleeding, particularly as biopsies may be done, (take your own unless you want a giant hospital pad!) and then you get dressed. They made me a cuppa, then I had a chat with the doctor who'd done the procedure.

In my case all looked well, and the biopsies and the fluid they use will be sent for testing.  Results will be sent out by letter in 3 - 4 weeks.  It turned out that the actual thickness was 6mm in some places, over 7 in others, and over 27 at the top of the uterus.  Thank goodness I hadn't known that at the time because I would have utterly panicked.  The consultant thinks there's a fibroid at the top but it doesn't require treatment as it will probably get smaller anyway.  She may also recommend a vaginal cream to be used for a while but that will be in the results letter.

I was fine afterwards and went shopping and was fine later on in the evening, no discomfort, nothing.  There was a little bleeding yesterday but that's stopped now, so all good.  As long as the biopsy tests are clear, and there's no reason to think they won't, I won't need to be seen at the hospital again.  

I just wrote this to reassure anyone who may be worrying about having a hysteroscopy done - please don't.  It's not the most pleasant procedure, but it's quick and it's fine afterwards, and the hospital staff will help you through it.  Would I worry if I needed it done again?  No, I wouldn't, and good luck if you are having it done, but you won't need it!  smile 

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  • Posted

    Louise,

    Thanks so much!  This is so very helpful! xxx

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    • Posted

      I was really worried about it (I actually thought about cancelling) so I thought I'd share this because the internet seems to have a lot of dreadful accounts of the procedure.

      Obviously it's never going to be pleasant but it's not nearly as awful as I was expecting.  I was absolutely fine afterwards too - I'd taken painkillers with me for afterwards but I didn't need them at all. 

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    • Posted

      That's because us Scotswomen are made of steel, Lynda! lol  I didn't feel at all brave when I arrived though!  It honestly wasn't bad, it was only really painful for a couple of minutes, so - all things considered - I'm glad I didn't have any anaesthetic as you can go back to normal straight after.  I know that aneasthesia isn't normally offered, certainly in the hospital I was at (a major teaching hospital and trauma centre in Scotland) but maybe could be given if you ask?  When I had a colonoscopy last year I was given Fentanyl, which worked pretty well...still painful but bearable.  I'm wondering if they could give something similar for this if anyone required it?

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    • Posted

      I agree that Scotswomen are made of steel! smile I've often wished that I could visit your beautiful country.  A very distant male relative of mine left Scotland for the US, several centuries ago.  

      In the US they use a mix of fentanyl and another drug (versed?) to produce what they call conscious sedation.  Theoretically, there is no pain but the patient remains able to converse with the doctor, etc. After the procedure, they don't recall any pain, or what happened.  They use it for several procedures, including endoscopy, colonoscopy, and I think for biopsies, too.

      I had a colonoscopy using that method a few months ago.  Interestingly enough, I woke up the night afterwards in terrible pain--I remember that I was still mostly asleep, telling myself that my intestines weren't going to explode, to try to relax and go back to sleep, I didn't need to call 911.  And, that's what I did.  I didn't have anything like that happen after my first colonoscopy.  Experiencing that was something else.

      I know that several people who are going to have procedures and/or surgery are terrified to be anesthetized. I'm the one with her hand raised saying, can you put me out for that? smile xx  

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    • Posted

      I take it that you are in the US?  I have visited the east coast - we flew to Florida (to visit Mickey!) and then travelled from there right through Georgia, North and South Carolina, Maryland, etc., up to Canada.  I loved Pennsylvania, it reminded me of Scotland in parts.  You have a beautiful country too, but so vast, I would just love to visit again.  Interesting about the conscious sedation, I remember everything about the colonoscopy but that was just by itself with no other drug x
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    • Posted

      Yes, I'm in the US--in the western dessert.  I love to head east whenever I can!  I miss the lush green, but not the humidity, which can get pretty bad!  

      I'm glad you enjoyed your visit!  smile  

       

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    • Posted

      I had it done in the US. No pain killer or anesthesia at all. It's horrible. Yes, I understand the need for it, but I don't think the doctors performing this have a clue.

      I just feel like this is so routine to them.

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    • Posted

      I had a sonohystogram and a biopsy. The sonohystgram in a clinic/lab and the biopsy in the doctor's office. No pain killer or anethesia. They were both awful. Yes, I got through it, and we must, but I really don't think doctors understand how awful it is. I've had nightmares about it since. I think it's just me, and how I feel about these things. The pain was bearable, but the whole procedure was upsetting.

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    • Posted

      Hi Debbie,

      I'm so sorry to learn this!  Whereabouts in the US?  My doctor said he might want to perform one, but told me it would be done with anesthesia.  

      I think that a patient is dependent upon the customary practice of medicine in their geographical area.  Some doctors do view anesthesia as optional.  However, I also think some insurance plans won't cover anesthesia for certain procedures.

      I am so sorry you had to go through this!  What was the outcome?

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    • Posted

      Thanks. I'm trying to be strong about these things, but it's tough. I really believe the stress of it all is worse than the actual procedure. I'm in NY State.

      Polyps were found. I haven't decided if I want them removed. They said to, but after all the research I did, I found out they rarely cause a problem after menopause. If anything, I would probably go for a hysterectomy before just having them removed. I've heard of others having them removed only to find out they come back.

      Anyway, this is really about getting through the stress and worry of these tests, knowing they will not give you anything. I did it, but have had nightmares about it since. I'm sure it's just me...worryier here.

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    • Posted

      I'm a worrier, too! smile. I had a biopsy last year in my gyn's office.  He gave me a prescription for tranquilizers before hand, and I had to take an over the counter anti-diarrheal.  I was so upset and worried, I couldn't leave the house until I got calmed down.

      My gyn is a really good man.  He was very kind to me.  But, I agree that some docs just act as though it's your tough luck being a woman. And, let's face it, the procedures aren't painful for them...

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  • Posted

    Thank you, this really is very helpful and clear. I a similar procedure one years ago to investigate spotting between periods and wish I'd been able to read something like this before. Especially the bit about taking your own pad!!!

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    • Posted

      Yes, nothing more demoralising and uncomfortable than wearing the nasty, bulky equivalent of a maternity pad!  I had to do that when I had the first biopsy last month so was more prepared this time.
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