A hysteroscopy is a procedure that is commonly used to examine the inside of the womb. It involves the insertion of a small telescope through the cervix (neck of the womb) into the uterus. The instrument contains a tiny camera which allows pictures of the womb to be seen on a television screen. A light on the end of the hysteroscope provides good visibility and gas or fluid may also be injected to open up the cavity of your womb, making it easier to see the womb lining.
A hysteroscopy is commonly used to ascertain the cause of abnormal periods and to check for womb conditions such as polyps and some types of fibroids. The procedure can also help to identify the causes of infertility. In addition, the instrument can be used to take a biopsy (a sample of your womb tissue) in order to conduct further tests. As well as checking the inside of the womb, a hysteroscopy can also be a method of treating certain conditions such as removing any growths or adhesions.
The investigative procedure is usually done in the outpatient department and often takes less than five minutes using a local anaesthetic. Hysteroscopic surgery to remove a growth will require a general anaesthetic but this is still usually undertaken as a day case procedure. After the operation, some patients may experience vaginal discomfort and some light bleeding, both of which should wear off quickly.