You will have been referred to the gynaecology department and may have already had a scan. From the information given to us by your GP and from the results of the scan we feel that you would benefit from a hysteroscopy, the investigation that is performed in this clinic.
What is a Hysteroscopy?
A Hysteroscopy is an examination of the inside of the uterus (womb) using a fine telescope.
What will happen at the Clinic?
You will be asked to remove your clothing from below the waist; you will be given a sheet to wrap around yourself as you return to the examination room. You will then be asked to lie on a couch that has special footrests. A speculum will be put into the vagina in the same way as when you have smear test.
When the person carrying out the examination has a good view of the cervix (neck of the womb) the area is cleaned with antiseptic and local anaesthetic gel is applied to it. Local anaesthetic is then injected into the cervix; this usually feels like a pinch and a sting.
The cervix can then be dilated so that the telescope can be passed into your uterus (womb). Whilst the inside of the uterus is being examined fluid (saline, which is salty water) is used to give a better view and you will be able to feel this. You may also feel some crampy pains that are a little like period pain. The images are magnified and can be seen on a television screen that you will be able to see if you wish.
How long will the procedure take?
It will take about 5 minutes for the examination and for a sample to be taken of the lining of the womb. However, we will need time to talk to you about your past medical history. You may also be asked to have a blood test before returning home. We hope that your total visit should last no longer than an hour and a half.
What are the benefits of the procedure?
- You will not need to have a general anaesthetic nor will you have to be admitted to hospital.
- The person performing the procedure will be able to explain the procedure and tell you exactly what is seen and take samples to send to the laboratory to confirm the diagnosis as quickly as possible.
Are there any risks involved?
- There is a risk that infection can be introduced as the scope is introduced but this is kept to a minimum by the sterile techniques used.
- With any hysteroscopy, under local or general anaesthetic, there is a risk of perforation of the uterus (womb). This is very rare.
Do I need to do anything before my appointment?
- Please try and eat normally on the day of your appointment.
- It may be helpful to take some painkillers about half an hour before your appointment, Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, or whatever you would normally take for a headache.
- If you would prefer, we can offer you pain relief when you arrive. To ensure that you get the maximum benefit from this you will need to arrive 45 minutes before your appointment time and let the receptionist know that you would like pain relief. We need to be sure that the drug (Diclofenac) is suitable for you, if you answer yes to the following questions it may not be and we will offer you Paracetamol as an alternative. Do not worry; many of our patients undergo hysteroscopy without taking painkillers before the examination.
Do I need to bring anything with me to the appointment?
- A list of any medication that you are taking.
- A specimen of urine, if you prefer the receptionist can provide you with a container so that you can provide one when you arrive at the hospital.
- The date of your last menstrual period, or the date that you went through the menopause.
- It may be helpful if someone comes with you to the appointment.
How will I feel afterwards?
- You may experience some `crampy` period-type pains. Paracetamol will help.
- You will probably feel like resting for the rest of the day.
- You will get some bleeding, this may continue for a few days.
- If you get any sudden heavy bleeding you should contact your GP.