A hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the uterus (womb). It’s carried out using a hysteroscope, a narrow tube with a telescope at the end. It’s a common procedure done routinely as an out-patient operation or day case, and the majority of patients go home the same day.
It can help to give a clear diagnosis of the problems you are experiencing and help to decide the right treatment for you.
A hysteroscopy is used to look for abnormalities in the inner surface of the womb and find the cause of symptoms inlcuding:
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Pelvic pain
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Repeated miscarriage
The hysteroscopy is performed with or without a local anaesthetic, which numbs the area around the womb. A hysteroscopy is described as ‘operative’ when it involves an additional procedure such as a biopsy or treatment. If an abnormality is suspected when viewing the inside of your womb, a small sample of tissue, called a biopsy, may be taken to be examined. The procedure usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes and if a medical condition is diagnosed straight away, such as a polyp (a projecting mass of overgrown tissue), treatment may be given at the same time as your hysteroscopy. If your surgeon thinks they may have to treat a condition or take a biopsy during your hysteroscopy, they will discuss this with you and ask for your consent before the procedure.
The most common treatments carried out during a hysteroscopy include the removal of:
- Adhesions and scar tissue in the womb
- Fibroids (non-cancerous growths) in the womb
- The removal of a lost or stuck contraceptive device.