For many gynaecological problems one of the common procedures we use to investigate, diagnose and treat is a Hysteroscopy.
We use it because a Hysteroscopy is a safe non-invasive treatment that allows us to examine the inside of your womb in detail and take pictures. We use a special endoscope called a “Hysteroscope’, this is a narrow tube with a light and camera at the end. The images are then sent to a screen so we can see the inside of your womb and learn more about what’s happening. A Hysteroscopy is used sometimes just to see what’s going on or it can be used as part of the treatment.
Why we choose a Hysteroscopy
Hysteroscopy is a very safe option because its non-invasive meaning we don’t have to make any cuts in the skin and it’s not a surgical procedure, so recovery is most often very quick and causes little disruption for most women.
The hysteroscope goes into your womb through your vagina and cervix (the entrance of the womb). This way we don’t need to make any cuts to the skin.
Reasons for doing a Hysteroscopy;
- To investigate
certain symptoms or problems- These are heavy periods, unusual vaginal bleeding, post- menopausal bleeding, pelvic pain, repeated miscarriages or difficulty getting pregnant
- To diagnose conditions
To confirm certain problems such as Fibroids or Polyps, which are non-cancerous growths in the womb.
- To treat conditions and problems
Hysteroscopy is also used in some treatments like removing fibroids, Polyps and displaced intrauterine devices (IUDs)
The Hysteroscopy treatment
The Hysteroscopy procedure is usually carried out as a day-case treatment, this means you don’t have to stay in hospital overnight. It isn’t necessary to use anaesthetic although local anaesthetic may be used.
Is a Hysteroscopy painful?
The pain felt during this procedure varies between women. Some women tend to feel no pain or any mild pain during the procedure. Often women may feel severe pain during the procedure, if this is the case and you find that it is too painful or uncomfortable then you can ask to stop the procedure at any time.
How long does it take to recover?
Many women feel able to go straight back to work the same day after the procedure, others prefer to rest and go back to their normal activities the next day. It depends on the individual and whether any anaesthetic is used. If you have a general anaesthetic for the procedure you may wish to have a few days off to rest.
Immediately after the procedure;
- You can drink and eat as normal
- You may experience some cramping which may be similar to period pain as well as spotting or bleeding for a few days, this is normal unless it’s heavy
- We suggest you avoid having sex for a week or until any bleeding stops, this is to reduce any chance of infection
Are there any risks to having a Hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is a very safe procedure, yet like any procedure there are possible risks that could cause complications. These will be discussed with you before the procedure.
The main risks associated with a Hysteroscopy are;
- Accidental damage to the womb- this is very uncommon but may require treatment with antibiotics in hospital
- Accidental damage to the cervix- this is very rare and can be easily repaired
- Excessive bleeding during or after the surgery, this may occur if you had the treatment under general anaesthetic and you can have medication or another procedure to help treat this
- Infection of the womb- this may cause smelly vaginal discharge, a fever or heavy bleeding, this is easily treated with a short course of antibiotics
These risks are very rare and can be rectified, so should not be a cause for concern.