An examination of the uterus using a thin telescope

A hysteroscopy is used to investigate symptoms such as abnormal bleeding or as a treatment for removing fibroids


A hysteroscopy is carried out using a thin telescope called a hysteroscope. It's used to diagnose or treat problems with your uterus. It can be used to diagnose or treat abnormal bleeding, or to remove abnormal growths, like fibroids or polyps. It can also be used to retrieve lost IUD coils.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    This procedure may be carried out without any anaesthetic, with local or general anaesthetic. A local anaesthetic numbs the area to block pain. Under general anaesthetic, you'll be asleep throughout the procedure. The hysteroscope will be inserted through your vagina and into your uterus. Your consultant will put gas or fluid through the hysteroscope to expand your uterus to see better. They'll examine your uterus and may take samples of tissue (a biopsy) using small instruments that are passed through the hysteroscope. The procedure usually only takes around 10 to 30 minutes but can take longer.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you. They'll also explain the procedure and tell you how to prepare. You may need to take medicine to help open the neck of your uterus (cervix). If you're having general anaesthetic, your consultant will tell you how long you should avoid eating and drinking for before your procedure.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You should be able to go home on the day of your procedure. If you've had a general anaesthetic, you'll need to wait until it wears off and arrange for someone to take you home. You might have some cramps, discomfort and bleeding for a few days afterwards. You should be able to go back to work the next day.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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