A hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows a health care provider to look at the inside of a woman’s cervix and uterus. It uses a thin tube called a hysteroscope, which is inserted through the vagina. The tube has a camera on it. The camera sends images of the uterus onto a video screen. The procedure can help diagnose and treat causes of abnormal bleeding, uterine diseases, and other conditions.
A hysteroscopy can be used to:
- investigate symptoms or problems – such as heavy periods, unusual vaginal bleeding, postmenopausal bleeding, pelvic pain, repeated miscarriages or difficulty getting pregnant
- diagnose conditions – such as fibroids and polyps (non-cancerous growths in the womb)
- treat conditions and problems – such as removing fibroids, polyps, displaced intrauterine devices (IUDs) and intrauterine adhesions (scar tissue that causes absent periods and reduced fertility)
During a hysteroscopy:
A hysteroscopy is usually carried out on an outpatient or day-case basis. This means you do not have to stay in hospital overnight.
It may not be necessary to use anaesthetic for the procedure, although local anaesthetic (where medication is used to numb your cervix) is sometimes used.
General anaesthetic may be used if you’re having treatment during the procedure or you would prefer to be asleep while it’s carried out.
A hysteroscopy can take up to 30 minutes in total, although it may only last around 5 to 10 minutes if it’s just being done to diagnose a condition or investigate symptoms.