Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about hysteroscopy. Learn how it works, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
To see how the procedure is done, view our animation below. For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their procedure, aftercare and treatment.
What is a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows a gynaecologist to look inside the uterus. It involves passing a hysteroscope – a tiny telescopic instrument with a light attached to the end – through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus. The hysteroscope conveys an image to a video monitor to assist in diagnosis and/or treatment of gynaecological problems.
Why is it done?
A diagnostic hysteroscopy may be used to investigate any of the following conditions:
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Post-menopausal bleeding
- Unexplained cramping or pain
- Recurrent miscarriage
A hysteroscopy may also be recommended to assist in locating an intra-uterine device (IUD) which has moved out of position.
Once a diagnosis has been made, a gynaecologist can use the hysteroscope to treat certain conditions. This is known as an operative hysteroscopy. Fine instruments can be inserted through channels in the hysteroscope and used to:
- Correct intra-uterine adhesions
- Remove fibroids or polyps
- Remove difficult intra-uterine devices (such as an IUD)
- Remove or cauterise (burn) the lining of the womb (endometrial ablation)
Where is it done?
Occasionally a doctor might perform a simple diagnostic hysteroscopy in his rooms or the outpatients department, but it’s more commonly performed in a hospital, standalone day surgery or the day surgery unit of an overnight hospital. Any type of operative hysteroscopy is done under a general anaesthetic, so this will always be done in hospital.
How long does it take?
Usually 10-60 minutes.
Who is involved?
- Your gynaecologist
- Pathologist (if blood tests are necessary)
Preparing for the procedure
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