What is a hysteroscopy?
It is the examination of the inside of the womb using a fine telescope.
Where is it done?
It is performed in the Endoscopy Suite.
How is it performed?
A small telescope is inserted through the vagina and cervix into the cavity of the womb. Generally this is done without the need for a speculum or local anaesthetic. The surgeon then carefully inspects the lining of the womb; the images from a camera attached to the telescope are projected onto a TV screen so you can watch the pictures if you want.
How long does it take?
The look inside itself only takes a few minutes.
Will I find it painful?
You may experience some crampy period-like pains during the test, but these settle very quickly. It can be useful to take 2 paracetamol tablets one hour prior to your appointment.
Can I have a general anaesthetic?
Yes, if you prefer, you could have your hysteroscopy performed under general anaesthetic (GA) at a later date. It is important to remember that if, at any point, you find the procedure too uncomfortable, it will be stopped and arrangements will be made for you to be admitted for the procedure under GA.
The advantages of the outpatient setting are that you avoid the risks of an anaesthetic, recover quicker and get back to normal activities sooner. However, at all stages during your outpatient visit you are in control of the situation.
What other procedures may be performed?
It is likely that you will need a biopsy of the lining of the womb. This is performed by inserting a small sampler at the end of the procedure. This sampling only takes 10-20 seconds but can cause a cramp-like sensation, which again settles very quickly. It is possible that a polyp (an overgrowth of the lining of the womb) may be found. This can be removed at the time of the hysteroscopy. (see information section on ‘polyp removal’)