What is hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is the technique of inspecting the cavity of the uterus (womb) under direct vision. This is done by using a hysteroscope (small telescope) which is inserted via the vagina and cervix (neck of the womb).
Attachment of a small video camera to the telescope allows monitoring on a television screen. The procedure itself is not particularly uncomfortable but a local anaesthetic may be used.
At the end of the hysteroscopy, we often take a small piece of tissue from the lining of the womb for examination.
Altogether, the procedure should not take more than ten minutes. However, we give you a longer appointment to allow us to talk with you before and after the procedure.
You may eat and drink as normal prior to your appointment.
What to do before?
You may have a light meal before you arrive. It is preferable for you to take two tablets of your usual brand of pain relief (ibruprofen / paracetamol) one to two hours before your appointment, this may alleviate any discomfort before and after the procedure. You can buy these over the counter.
It is also preferable for you to bring someone along with you, although this is not mandatory.
At the end of your appointment
The doctor will give you:
- The results of the tests performed (except the results of any biopsies)
- Advice and any recommendations for treatment
Sometimes the doctor is unable to perform this procedure under local anaesthetic and he/she will arrange for it to be performed at a later date under general anaesthetic.
You may also choose to have it performed under general anaesthetic, the risks of which will be explained to you.
Are there any risks?
Hysteroscopy is a common and straight forward procedure. However, as with any surgical procedure there is a small chance of side-effects or complications.
Women who have had previous surgery on their womb, eg. caesarean section, myomectomy (an operation to remove fibroids from the wall of the womb), or surgery to the cervix have a slightly increased risk of complications.
Common side effects include:
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Period like pain
Rare but more serious complications include:
- A risk of the telescope making a small hole in the womb (seven in every 1,000 procedures). However, even if this did happen you would only have to stay in hospital overnight for observation and take a short course of antibiotics
- Pelvic infection
What happens afterwards?
We like you to sit in the Day Room for at least a 15 minutes before leaving. A cup of tea, coffee or a cold drink will be available.
Slight bleeding after the hysteroscopy is normal and you may have to wear a pad (not a tampon) for a day or two. It is advisable to be driven home and rest for the remainder of the day.
If you cannot keep your appointment, or if you are going to be late, please telephone the Colposcopy Unit administrator on 01935 384 622. Any further appointment will be posted to you.
If you require further information please contact:
Gynae Fast Track Clinic
Tuesday to Friday
01935 384 454
07557 313 816
Monday to Thursday
01935 384 622
Weekends and evenings
01935 384 385