Learn more about hysteroscopies at King Edward VII’s Hospital
Why would I need a hysteroscopy?
Your specialist might recommend that you undergo a hysteroscopy if you are experiencing these symptoms:
- Heavy periods
- Post-menopausal bleeding
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Fertility problems (difficulty conceiving, repeated miscarriages)
They might also recommend one if they think you might have:
- A displaced IUD
- Intrauterine adhesions
What symptoms does a hysteroscopy address?
A hysteroscopy is mostly performed as a way to investigate issues you might be having with your reproductive system, but there are some cases where the problem might be addressed and treated during the procedure, like removing a polyp or a displaced IUD.
When should you speak to your specialist about a hysteroscopy?
If you are concerned about any problems you are experiencing with your reproductive system, you might consider asking your specialist about having a hysteroscopy.
How is a hysteroscopy performed?
A hystereoscopy can take anywhere from five minutes to a half hour and may be done with local or general anaesthetic depending on your medical history and wishes.
First, your vagina and cervix will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the hysteroscope is inserted into your vagina and then passes on to your uterus. The camera inside the hysteroscope will send images to a monitor that your gynaecologist can examine and identify any potential issues.
Under local anaesthesia, the level of pain you will experience during a hysteroscopy can vary. Some women report that it is slightly uncomfortable, while others say it is very painful. If you find that the procedure is too painful, let your gynaecologist know and they can stop.
What is the recovery for a hysteroscopy?
If your hysteroscopy was done without anaesthetic, you can leave the hospital after the procedure and resume your normal day-to-day activities.
Some women report experiencing some pain after the procedure, but this can usually be treated by taking over-the-counter pain medications like paracetamol or ibuprofen. If your pain is extreme, it is imperative that you speak to your gynaecologist.
Are there any risks/complications associated a hysteroscopy?
As with any medical procedure, it is possible for risks or complications to arise. It is best that you speak with your specialist or gynaecologist about how best to avoid any adverse reactions.
Complications from a hysteroscopy are rare, but they can occur. Some complications that have been associated with the procedure are:
- Heavy bleeding
- An infection
- Cervical or uterine wall damage, which may require additional treatment
- Too much fluid absorption (during the procedure, fluid is used to open your womb so the gynaecologist can see it more clearly)
How can I prepare for a hysteroscopy?
You cannot undergo a hysteroscopy if you are pregnant, so in the lead-up to the procedure, ensure that you are using contraception.
Your specialist or gynaecologist will inform you of any other preparations that you should make prior to undergoing your hysteroscopy.
Are there alternatives for a hysteroscopy?
There are alternatives that your specialist could recommend, including:
- A pelvic ultrasound
- An endometrial biopsy
After such tests a hysteroscopy may be recommended.