Before the operation
This page gives you some information about your upcoming hysteroscopy. You may require a blood test or other investigations before your operation. You will be advised in a letter from my PA as to when to stop eating and drinking. You will be admitted and prepared for your stay by one of the nursing staff. In most cases it is a day case procedure. You will be advised if you need to stay longer. This would normally occur if you have medical problems.
During your operation
A hysteroscopy is a very quick operation which takes about ten to fifteen minutes. Once you are anaesthetised I will insert a speculum into your vagina (the same used for a smear) so that I can see the neck of the womb (cervix). A small telescope (hysteroscope) is inserted through the cerivix into the womb. It has a small camera attached, which allows an enlarged picture to be seen on a TV screen. In this way I can inspect the lining of the womb to identify what might be causing your problem.
During the hysteroscopy I might take a biopsy (a small sample of tissue) to be examined in the laboratory and / or treat the inside of your womb. I may remove polyps (small growths of tissue in your womb lining) or fibroids (non-cancerous growths of muscle in your womb). You can have an intra-uterine system (IUS) or coil put in or removed.
After the operation
You will wake up in the recovery room and stay there for about half an hour so the nurses can keep a check on you. Back on the ward regular observations will be taken as well as your blood pressure and pulse. You will be able to drink and then eat gradually.
It is usual to have some slight bleeding, bright red blood at first, which gradually becomes brown in the course of a week to ten days. If this should become heavier (than a normal period) or seems smelly you should contact the ward, the nurse, my PA (see below) or your GP as this could be a sign of infection. If you feel generally unwell and you have a high temperature you should call as this could also be a sign of infection.
Following a hysteroscopy you may find that your next period (if you still have them) is a bit heavier, and lasts between three and six weeks. Your cycle should soon settle to your normal pattern. Many women find that they have slight cramps, period type pains for a day or so. Taking a mild painkiller such as paracetamol or Ibuprofen can help this.
Things to avoid after the operation
It is best to use sanitary towels rather than tampons until your next period to help avoid infection.
You are advised to shower rather than bath and avoid using bubble bath or heavily scented soap as this may irritate your vagina. As the neck of the womb has been opened you should avoid having sexual intercourse for one week or until the bleeding has stopped. Most women find they are able to return to their usual activities within 48 hours.
If you have to take time off work I can give you a sickness certificate.
You should not drive for 48 hours as your concentration could be impaired. You need to arrange for someone to collect you.