Operative Hysteroscopy: What to Expect at Home

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Your Recovery

Female pelvic organs

An operative hysteroscopy is a procedure to find and treat problems with your uterus. It may have been done to remove growths from the uterus. Or it may have been done to treat fertility problems or abnormal bleeding.

You may have cramps and vaginal bleeding for several days. If the doctor filled your uterus with air during the procedure, you may have gas pains, a feeling of fullness in your belly, or shoulder pain. These symptoms usually go away in 1 or 2 days. If the doctor filled your uterus with liquid during the procedure, you may have watery vaginal discharge for a few days.

Many women are able to return to work on the day after the procedure. But it depends on what was done during the procedure and the type of work you do.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Activity

  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
  • Most women are able to return to work on the day after the procedure.
  • You may shower and take baths as usual.
  • Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex.
  • Talk about birth control with your doctor. Do not try to become pregnant until your doctor says it is okay.

Diet

  • You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
  • You may notice that your bowel movements are not regular right after the procedure. This is common. Try to avoid constipation and straining with bowel movements. You may want to take a fibre supplement every day. If you have not had a bowel movement after a couple of days, ask your doctor about taking a mild laxative.

Medicines

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if and when to start taking those medicines again. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
    • Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach:
    • Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
    • Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.

Other instructions

  • You may have some light vaginal bleeding. Wear sanitary pads if needed. Do not douche or use tampons until your doctor says it is okay.
  • You may want to use a heating pad on your belly to help with pain. Use a low heat setting.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You pass out (lose consciousness).
  • You have severe trouble breathing.
  • You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.
  • You have severe belly pain.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding. This means that you are soaking through your usual pads every hour for 2 or more hours.
  • You have vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad.
  • You are sick to your stomach or cannot keep fluids down.
  • You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
  • You have a fever over 38°C.
  • You have trouble passing urine or stool.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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