What is a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the uterus (womb). It's carried out using a hysteroscope, which is a narrow tube with a telescope at the end. Images are sent to a computer in order to get a close-up of the womb.
Why it is used
A hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose cases when a woman’s symptoms suggest there could be a problem with their womb. Symptoms can include:
- heavy periods or irregular periods
- bleeding between normal periods, after sexual intercourse or after menopause
- pelvic pain
- unusual vaginal discharge
- repeated miscarriage
A hysteroscopy can also be used to remove abnormal growths from the womb, such as:
- fibroids – non-cancerous growths that can develop inside the womb and can sometimes cause symptoms such as pain and heavy periods
- polyps – small growths that develop on the lining of the womb and can cause irregular and heavy periods
- intrauterine adhesions – sections of scar tissue that can cause absent periods and infertility
- thickening of the uterus' lining (endometrial hyperplasia) – this can increase the risk of womb cancer
A procedure called dilatation and curettage (D&C) used to be commonly used to examine the womb and remove abnormal growths, but nowadays hysteroscopies are carried out instead.
What happens during a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is a common procedure that is often carried out on an outpatient basis. This means you do not have to stay overnight.
It is performed under sedation. The surgeon will use a device called a speculum to open up the walls of the vagina, in the same way it is used during a cervical smear test. The surgeon will then insert the hysteroscope through the cervix, into the womb.
Gas or fluid is often used to inflate the womb, to give the surgeon a better view.
If a biopsy or treatment is needed, such as the removal of polyps, other instruments will be passed into the womb.
A hysteroscopy usually takes between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on what needs to be done.
Recovering from a hysteroscopy
Some women will experience cramping similar to period pains after a hysteroscopy, but this usually passes after a few days.
Most women feel they can return to normal activities, such as work, the day after the procedure.
A hysteroscopy is a very safe procedure, with a low risk of complications.
The two most commonly reported complications of a hysteroscopy are:
- accidental damage to the womb or cervix, which may require further treatment to correct – this occurs in around 1 in 135 cases
- excessive bleeding during or after surgery, which happens in around 1 in 400 cases
In almost all cases, the benefits of having a hysteroscopy far outweigh the potential risks.
Do I need to be a patient at CRGW?
No. If you are a non-CRGW patient you will need to book an initial consultation prior to pursuing a hysteroscopy.
How much does a hysteroscopy cost?
This depends on whether it is purely diagnostic or whether treatment is required additionally. The 4 hysterocopy options can be found in the 'Additional Charges' section of the our pricelist.
Please contact the clinic on 01443 443999 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further questions