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:

  • infertility
  • 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.

Further information

Please contact the clinic on 01443 443999 or email us at info@crgw.co.uk if you have further questions