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"What is a hysteroscopy?"
I'm in my late 30s, and I've recently had abnormal vaginal bleeding. My doctor wants to perform a hysteroscopy to diagnose the problem. What is a hysteroscopy, and are they painful?
A hysteroscopy is a procedure in which a very small camera is placed through the vagina up into the uterus. A small amount of fluid is infused into the uterus to allow visualization of the endometrial lining and ovarian tubes. The procedure can diagnose endometrial polyps, fibroids, and other intrauterine conditions. Some of these conditions can be treated during the procedure, and your doctor can also take small tissue biopsies of any areas that appear abnormal. Discomfort during the procedure will be managed by an anesthesiologist, who will determine the safest way to prevent you from feeling pain. Afterwards, it is common to have mild vaginal bleeding (spotting) and cramping. If you have concerns about the procedure, do not hesitate to discuss them with your doctor. He or she will be able to explain what they are planning and how their patients usually respond to the procedure.
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