Women Share Gynecological Procedures They’ve Had Without Option Of Anesthetics

YSK: The images in this post are not intended to represent the tools used for mentioned medical procedures. If you’re unfamiliar with the procedures mentioned and would like to learn more, see the following (in alphabetical order):

• Cervical Biopsy — From Johns Hopkins Medicine, “A cervical biopsy is a procedure to remove tissue from the cervix to test for abnormal or precancerous conditions or cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus. It forms a canal that opens into the vagina.”

• Cervical Polyps — From Harvard Health, “The cervix is a tube-like channel that connects the uterus to the vagina. Cervical polyps are growths that usually appear on the cervix where it opens into the vagina. Polyps are usually cherry-red to reddish-purple or grayish-white. They vary in size and often look like bulbs on thin stems. Cervical polyps are usually not cancerous (benign) and can occur alone or in groups.”

• Colonoscopy — From Johns Hopkins Medicine, “A colonoscopy is a procedure that lets your health care provider check the inside of your entire colon (large intestine). The procedure is done using a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope. The tube has a light and a tiny camera on one end. It is put in your rectum and moved into your colon.”

• Colposcopy — From Johns Hopkins Medicine, “A Colposcopy [is a procedure that lets your health care provider] view the opening to the uterus, called the cervix, and the vagina. It uses an instrument with a magnifying lens and a light called a colposcope. It magnifies the image many times. The healthcare provider sees the tissues on the cervix and vaginal walls more clearly.”

• Cystoscopy — From Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Cystoscopy [for women] is a procedure that lets the healthcare provider view the urinary tract, particularly the bladder, the urethra, and the openings to the ureters. Cystoscopy can help find problems with the urinary tract. This may include early signs of cancer, infection, narrowing, blockage, or bleeding. To do this procedure, a long, flexible, lighted tube, called a cystoscope, is put into the urethra and moved up into the bladder.” 

• Endometrial Biopsy — From Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Your healthcare provider can do an endometrial biopsy to take a small tissue sample from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) for study. Your healthcare provider will insert an instrument called a speculum into your vagina to spread the walls of the vagina apart to view the cervix. Your provider will insert a thin tube, called a catheter, through the cervical opening into the uterus. The catheter has a smaller tube inside it. The healthcare provider will withdraw the inner tube creating suction at the end of the catheter, then gently rotate and move the tip of the catheter in and out to collect small pieces of endometrial tissue.”

• Hysterosalpingography (HSG) — From UCSF Health, “Hysterosalpingography is a special x-ray using dye to look at the womb (uterus) and fallopian tubes. You will lie on a table beneath an x-ray machine. You will place your feet in stirrups. A tool called a speculum is placed into the vagina. After the cervix is cleaned, the health care provider places a thin tube (catheter) through the cervix. Dye, called contrast, flows through this tube, filling the womb and fallopian tubes.”

• Hysteroscopy — From Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Hysteroscopy is the exam of the inside of the cervix and uterus using a thin, lighted, flexible tube called a hysteroscope. Your provider will insert the hysteroscope into the vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus. Your provider will inject a liquid or gas through the hysteroscope to expand the uterus for a better view. Your provider will examine the wall of the uterus for problems.” 

• IUD (Intrauterine Device) — From Planned Parenthood, “An IUD is a tiny device that’s put into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. To put the IUD in, the nurse or doctor will put a speculum into your vagina and then use a special inserter to put the IUD in through the opening of your cervix and into your uterus.”

• LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) — From Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a wire loop heated by electric current to remove cells and tissue in a woman’s lower genital tract. It is used as part of the diagnosis and treatment for abnormal or cancerous conditions. With LEEP, an electric current passes through the fine wire loop to cut away a thin layer of abnormal tissue. This tissue will be sent to the lab for testing. LEEP can also remove abnormal cells to allow healthy tissue to grow.”

• Saline Infusion Sonohysterography (SIS or SHG) – From Inside Radiology, “SIS uses a saline (salt solution) inserted into the uterus that allows the lining of the uterus to be clearly seen on an ultrasound scan. A speculum is inserted into the vagina. A soft catheter is inserted through the speculum and into the uterus through the cervix. The speculum is then removed while the catheter still remains, and a transvaginal ultrasound transducer is inserted into the vagina. A small amount of saline is inserted through the catheter into the uterine cavity. The transducer is then gently moved around while images of the inside of the uterus are taken.”

• Vulvar Biopsy — From Emory University School of Medicine, “A vulvar/vaginal biopsy takes one or more samples of tissue from the vulva or vagina. The vulva is the outer parts of the female genitals, including the labia, which are often called the lips, and the clitoris. The vagina is the opening that leads to the cervix, which is the entrance to the uterus.”

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