Vaginoscopy for office hysteroscopy: A systematic review & meta-analysis

Prathiba M De Silva, Alasdair Carnegy, Paul P Smith, T Justin Clark
European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology 2020 June 23, 252: 278-285

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of the vaginoscopic approach to office hysteroscopy on patients' experience of pain, when compared with the traditional approach where a vaginal speculum is used.

METHODS: Medline, Embase, CINAHL and the Cochrane library were searched from inception until December 2019, in order to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of all randomised controlled trials investigating vaginoscopy compared to traditional hysteroscopy on pain experienced by women undergoing diagnostic or operative hysteroscopy in an office setting. Data regarding procedural time, feasibility, incidence of vasovagal reactions and complications, acceptability and satisfaction were also recorded.

RESULTS: The literature search returned 363 results of which seven were selected for systematic review, and six for meta-analysis. The vaginoscopic approach was associated with a statistically significant reduction in pain (4 studies including 2214 patients; SMD -0.27, 95 % CI -0.48 to -0.06), procedural time (6 studies including 2443 patients; SMD -0.25, 95 % CI -0.43 to -0.08) and the incidence of vasovagal episodes (3 studies including 2127 patients; OR 0.35; 95 % CI 0.15 to 0.82). Failure rates between the two techniques were similar (p = .90). No study reported significant differences in complications or patient or clinician acceptability or satisfaction.

CONCLUSION: Clinicians performing office hysteroscopy should use the vaginoscopic technique because it makes office hysteroscopy quicker, less painful and reduces the likelihood of inducing a vasovagal reaction. The traditional approach should only be used when vaginoscopy fails or when the need for cervical dilatation is anticipated.

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