A complete examination of a woman’s internal pelvic structures can provide important information regarding infertility and common gynecologic disorders. Frequently, problems that cannot be discovered by an external physical examination can be discovered by laparoscopy or hvsteroscopy, two procedures which provide a direct look at the pelvic organs. These procedures have become integral aspects of a complete infertility evaluation. Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy can be used for both diagnostic (looking only) and operative (looking and treating) purposes.
Diagnostic laparoscopy may be recommended to look at the outside of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and internal pelvic area. Diagnostic hysteroscopy is used to look inside the uterus. If an abnormal condition is detected during the diagnostic procedure, operative laparoscopy or operative hysteroscopy can often be performed to correct it at the same time, avoiding the need for a second surgery. Both diagnostic and operative procedures should be performed by physicians with surgical expertise in these areas. The following information will help patients know what to expect before undergoing any of these procedures.