Hysteroscopy involves examining the inside of the uterus with a small telescopic camera that is passed through the cervix. It can be performed under a general anaesthetic, when it is often combined with a dilatation and curettage (D&C), or in the outpatient clinic. Various hysteroscopic procedures have been developed to treat specific problems.

How is Hysteroscopy done?

■ The procedure involves passing the hysteroscope through the cervix (neck of the womb) into the cavity of the uterus. If the procedure is being performed in the outpatient clinic you may be given painkillers about 1-2 hours beforehand, and occasionally a local anaesthetic will be injected in and around the cervix to help relieve any discomfort.

■ In order to obtain a good view of the cavity, it has to be distended using either a harmless gas such as carbon dioxide, or liquid.

■ Most women go home the day of the operation. For a few days afterwards you may notice some spotting. Some women may be required to stay in hospital for a few days if the hysteroscopy has been combined with another operative procedure. Make sure that you understand why the procedure is being performed and what is going to be achieved. Hysteroscopy is usually not performed if you are pregnant and is best avoided if you are suffering from pelvic inflammatory disease.