by Jen Rymaruk
A hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to see inside the uterus. A long thin scope is passed through the vagina. The scope has a camera which sends images to a screen in the room. Tools may also be passed with the scope to take samples or do treatment.
Reasons for Procedure
Hysteroscopy may be done to look for causes of:
Hysteroscopy may also be done as part of treatment. It may be used to remove:
Complications are rare but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will review a list of possible problems such as:
The risk of problems is higher with:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The doctor will ask about:
Leading up to the procedure:
There are different choices for anesthesia. The choice will depend on what is being done. Options include:
Description of the Procedure
A speculum is placed in the vagina. It will gently press open the vagina. A scope will be passed through the vagina and into the uterus. The uterus will be filled with a gas or liquid. This will let the doctor get a clear look inside the uterus.
Other tools may be passed into the uterus. Abnormal tissue will be removed or repairs will be made. A sample of tissue may be removed for a biopsy. All samples will be sent to a lab for exam.
How Long Will It Take?
About 15 to 45 minutes
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will have mild cramping and soreness. Medicine can help with discomfort.
The care team will watch for any problems. Once you feel better, you will be able to go home. Most can go back to normal activity within a few days. Full recovery will depend on what was done.
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Office on Women's Health
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Women's Health Matters
Centini G1, Troia L, Lazzeri L, Petraglia F, Luisi S. Modern operative hysteroscopy. Minerva Ginecol. 2016 Apr;68(2):126-32.
Hysteroscopy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Hysteroscopy. Updated October 2018. Updated January 7, 2019.
Hysteroscopy. NHS website. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hysteroscopy/. Updated May 2018. Updated January 7, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mary-Beth Seymour, RN
Last Updated: 9/25/2020
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