A Hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the uterus (womb). It is carried out using a hysteroscope, which is a very slim surgical instrument about 3mm to 5mm in diameter. This is carefully passed through the vagina and neck of the uterus (cervix) and into your uterus. With a telescope at the end, your surgeon will be able to perform minor operations to the uterus and check for any abnormalities in the lining of the uterus via the internal video camera, which sends pictures to a computer screen.
A Hysteroscopy can be used to help diagnose cases where a woman’s symptoms suggest that there may be a problem with the womb.
Symptoms might include:
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Bleeding between normal periods
- Pelvic pain
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Repeated miscarriage
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A Hysteroscopy can also be used to remove abnormal growths from the womb, such as:
- Fibroids – non-cancerous growths which can develop inside the womb and sometimes cause symptoms such as pain and heavy periods
- Polyps – small growths which develop on the lining of the womb and can cause irregular and heavy periods
- Adhesions – sections of scar tissue which can cause absent periods and infertility.
A Hysteroscopy is a common procedure and usually takes between 10 and 30 minutes. It is usually carried out on a day case basis so you do not have to stay in hospital overnight.
Depending on the reason for your Hysteroscopy, it can be performed either under local anaesthetic, where medication is used to numb a small area, or general anaesthetic.
Some women will experience cramping, similar to period pains, after a Hysteroscopy, but this usually passes within a few days.
Most women feel they can return to normal activities, such as work, the day after the procedure