This webpage will give you information about a hysteroscopy. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.
What is a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is a procedure to look at the inside of the uterus (womb) using a small telescope (hysteroscope). It is common for a biopsy (removing a small piece of the lining of the womb) to be performed at the same time.
A hysteroscopy is good for finding out the cause of abnormal bleeding from the womb, especially heavy periods and bleeding after the menopause. It will help to find out if you have fibroids, polyps, endometrial cancer or an abnormally-shaped womb.
Are there any alternatives to a hysteroscopy?
It may be appropriate to try to find the cause of your symptoms using a scan and by performing a biopsy using a small tube placed through the cervix (neck of the womb).
Your gynaecologist may recommend a sono-ultrasound (also called sono-hysterogram) where an ultrasound device is placed in your vagina.
What does the procedure involve?
A hysteroscopy can be performed under local or general anaesthetic, or without any anaesthetic. The procedure usually takes less than ten minutes.
Your gynaecologist will pass the hysteroscope along your vagina, through your cervix and into your womb (see figure 1). They will inflate your womb using gas (carbon dioxide) or a fluid, so they can have a clear view. They can use instruments to perform a biopsy or remove polyps and small fibroids.
What complications can happen?
- Feeling or being sick
- Blood clots
- Making a hole in the womb with possible damage to a nearby structure
- Failed procedure
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home the same day. A member of the healthcare team will tell you what was found during the hysteroscopy and will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.
Most women are able to return to normal activities the day after the procedure. You may experience some period-like cramps and mild bleeding.
A hysteroscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if you have a problem with your womb and, in some circumstances, treating your symptoms.
Author: Mr Jeremy Hawe MBChB MRCOG
Illustrations: Hannah Ravenscroft RM
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.