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Hysteroscopy

Welcome to the Hysteroscopy Service, here you will find information that we hope will help if you have been referred.

Where to find us

The Hysteroscopy Clinic is held in the Women's and Children's Outpatient's Department in the east wing of the hospital. A hospital welcome will be pleased to direct you to the area if required.

Hysteroscopy team

The team consists of an Associate Specialist and two nurses from the Gynaecological Ward (Ward 4) and a secretary dedicated to the service.

Secretarial office hours

Monday 8.30am to 5pm
Tuesday 9am to 3.30pm
Friday 9am to 3.30pm
Telephone Number +44 1624 650334

This outpatient service has been developed for the investigation of conditions such as, menstrual disorders, endometrial biopsy, retrieval of IUCDs and removal of small polyps.

Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is a procedure that lets your doctor look inside your uterus (womb). This is done using a narrow tube-like instrument called a hysteroscope. The hysteroscope is very slim (about 3 millimeters in diameter). It is carefully passed through the vagina and cervix (neck of the uterus) and into your uterus. The hysteroscope has a camera attached which allows pictures to be seen on a monitor. This allows your doctor to check for any abnormalities inside of the uterus.

Problems helped by a hysteroscopy 

A hysteroscopy may be used to find the cause of various problems such as:

  • Heavy or irregular bleeding that has not got better with medication.
  • Bleeding in-between periods.
  • Bleeding after your menopause.
  • Irregular bleeding whilst you are taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
  • If you are thinking about having an operation to make your periods less heavy (endometrial ablation or microwave ablation).

As well as being used to investigate the cause of various problems, it can also be used to:

  • Remove polyps - small lumps of tissue growing on the lining of the uterus.
  • Locate a 'lost' or stuck contraceptive device, such as an IUD (coil).

Before you have the procedure your doctor will talk to you about the test. Your doctor may discuss a number of different treatment options with you. This is because it may be possible to treat the cause of your symptoms immediately, using the hysteroscope. In order to do this you must consent (agree) to the treatment. It is up to you to decide which treatment option is best for you.

During a hysteroscopy

In some hospitals you may have an ultrasound scan before you have the hysteroscopy. If you have a local anaesthetic you will be awake during the procedure and you may be asked if you wish to see the pictures on the monitor. Some people do not wish to do this, but others find it helpful.

The doctor may take a biopsy (tiny piece of tissue from the uterus), which will be sent to the laboratory for examination under the microscope. A hysteroscopy takes between 5 to 30 minutes. You may feel something like period cramps at some stage of the procedure however, a lot of women feel no discomfort at all.

Preparing for a hysteroscopy

You will get some information sent to you along with your appointment. You will not usually need any special preparation as your procedure as this will be carried out under local anesthetic.

After a hysteroscopy

If you have a local anaesthetic, you will usually be able to go home after the procedure. You should feel well enough to walk, travel by bus or to drive home. You may experience some period-like cramps and mild bleeding. The bleeding is usually mild and should settle within seven days. To reduce the risk of infection you should use sanitary towels rather than tampons.

Side effects or complications from a hysteroscopy

The most common side-effects of the procedure are bleeding and pain, as mentioned above. Very rarely it is possible that a small hole may be made in the uterus by the hysteroscope. If this happens you would need to stay in hospital overnight. It is also possible, although not common, to develop an infection of the uterus as a result of hysteroscopy.

You should contact your doctor if you develop any problems such as:

  • A temperature
  • Increased unexplained pain not relieved with painkillers
  • Increased discharge, which is smelly and unpleasant
  • Heavy bleeding
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