What is hysteroscopy all about? Is it required to be done before IVF? Recent research does indicate the need for hysteroscopy.
What is Hysteroscopy and Why Is It Done?
Hysteroscopy is meant to diagnose and treat problems of the uterus. A hysteroscopy happens to be a long, thin, lighted device which is actually inserted into one’s uterus through one’s vagina. It also projects an image on a screen and allows the physician one’s uterus.
Hysteroscopy is commonly made use of when a woman suffers from abnormal uterine bleeding. This does imply that her periods indeed too heavy or do last much longer than usual and occur too often or even less frequently than usual, or that she suffers from bleeding in between her periods. It also used to remove scar tissue, referred to as adhesions, to locate an intrauterine device (IUD), or even to perform sterilization by blocking the fallopian tubes. Hysteroscopy is indeed one of the tests a fertility doctor usually can prescribe to evaluate the possibility that causes infertility. Other tests do include semen analysis, transvaginal ultrasound, hysterosalpingograms (HSG), as well as and blood tests for ovarian function.
Hysteroscopy and IVF
Unsuccessful IVF attempts usually are due to factors in one’s embryo, such as genetic problems, or even other issues with the woman’s uterus. Earlier several fertility clinics do indeed routinely perform hysteroscopy on women who had failed IVF cycles, to look out for uterine growths or scar tissues and also be able to remove them.
One can go in for other, non-invasive methods of assessing the uterine cavity including hysterosonography (HSN) whereby a smaller amount of salt water is in fact infused into one’s uterus and also an ultrasound is rather performed to assess the uterus.
Several studies also indicate that hysteroscopy after an IVF cycle had indeed failed. Some clinics also do perform it routinely before beginning IVF treatment, thus believing that removing polyps or scar tissue before starting IVF gave the treatment a better chance to succeed.
However, a large randomized study conducted in Europe found no significant difference in IVF success rates between those who had hysteroscopy before IVF and those who did not. This is important because it reduces chances of bias in the study and makes the findings more reliable.
The question that arises is whether hysteroscopy should be done before one begins IVF? If an abnormality is identified, then hysteroscopy is indicated. If it is normal, then hysteroscopy is probably not required. It is important to seek advice from a fertility doctor and find out a proper solution.
A hysteroscopy before starting IVF treatment is a must. You will not always be offered one, but insists on it. A hysteroscopy is the best way to check your womb is healthy and ready to carry a baby.
The Procedure of Hysteroscopy
Initially, one is sedated or placed under general anesthesia. Then a narrow tube with a telescope at the end is passed through one’s vagina and cervix into one’s uterine cavity, which is sometimes filled with fluid or even gas. The images are then viewed on a screen as well as recorded. The surgeon can then check for fibroids, polyps, scar tissue, septa as well as other malformations.
A hysteroscopy is indeed a relatively straightforward, invasive, procedure. For IVF patients, it makes sense to have it done along with hormone tests like FSH and LH, STD tests, male-partner semen analysis, etc.
Uterine problems can cause infertility and miscarriages. A hysteroscopy is not just a trans-vaginal scan but is used to assess all parts of one’s vagina.
Side effects that arise after a hysteroscopy are usually rare. Infection, in fact, happens less than 0.4 percent of existing cases. And there is also less than a one-per-cent chance of bleeding on account of uterine damage. More common side- effects do include a feeling of being bloated and a rather period-like cramping.
More research has to be conducted on hysteroscopies which need to be published for adequate benefits from the procedure. That said, some clinics have been accused of pushing hysteroscopies onto patients who may not need them.
One is keen to have a baby as soon as possible and therefore one must demand a hysteroscopy before one’s start one’s IVF treatment – whether one’s consultant recommends it or not.