This page will provide you with information about having a hysteroscopy. For further details, please speak to your consultant.
What is a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is a procedure that enables your gynaecologist to examine the inside of your uterus (womb) using a small telescope known as a hysteroscope. Typically, a biopsy (the removal of small pieces of the lining of the uterus) will be performed during the same procedure.
Many women who have experienced very heavy or irregular periods, bleeding after menopause or between periods, or other abnormal bleeding choose to have a hysteroscopy to determine the cause of these symptoms. The procedure can also help discover whether you have polyps, fibroids, an abnormally-shaped womb or endometrial cancer.
What are the alternatives to surgery?
There is an option of having a scan as opposed to a hysteroscopy, and performing a biopsy by using a small tube placed across the neck of the womb. Alternatively, your gynaecologist may recommend a sono-ultrasound, whereby an ultrasound device is placed within the vagina.
What will happen during the operation?
A hysteroscopy does not have to be performed with anaesthetic, but your gynaecologist may suggest a local (to numb a small area) or general (where you are asleep during the hysteroscopy) anaesthetic, if desired. The procedure does not take very long – usually lasting only 10 minutes.
Your gynaecologist will insert the hysteroscope which will pass through the walls of the vagina, across the cervix and into your womb (see Figure 1). Carbon dioxide gas or fluid is usually used to inflate the womb, enabling the surgeon to have a better view. Using specialist instruments, the gynaecologist will carry out a biopsy or take out polyps and small fibroids.
Risks and complications
Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.
Typically, you will be allowed to go home the same day and will not need to stay in hospital overnight. You should be able to return to your normal day-to-day activities the next day. Slight cramps and minor bleedings are possible side effects.
Your consultant will tell you if anything was discovered during the procedure and whether any treatment or follow-ups are needed.
Both safe and effective, a hysteroscopy is a reliable way of diagnosing any issues with your womb. If anything is discovered, appropriate treatment can be offered.
EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.
The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.