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A hysteroscopy is a minimally-invasive investigation to examine and take biopsies from the lining of the womb. A hysteroscopy is commonly performed in women who are experiencing menstrual problems, abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and difficulty conceiving.
A hysteroscopy allows the world-leading gynaecologists at The London Clinic to carefully inspect the inside of your womb, take samples for analysis, and also treat many common gynaecological conditions like polyps and fibroids.
The London Clinic's gynaecology consultants perform a hysteroscopy in the state-of-the-art suite, using the latest hysteroscopic equipment and technology. Many women have the procedure in an outpatient setting, with a local anaesthetic, and find it convenient and comfortable. However, we offer a hysteroscopy under sedation or general anaesthetic for women who are anxious or concerned about the procedure.
The gynaecologists are assisted by an expert multidisciplinary team that will support you from your first consultation, during your procedure, and throughout your recovery.
What is a hysteroscopy?
A diagnostic hysteroscopy is a commonly performed investigation to examine the inside of your womb. It is a minimally-invasive procedure; you will not have any cuts or scars following your hysteroscopy.
Your gynaecologist inserts a fine telescope, with a light and a digital camera, into your womb through your cervix. The camera relays images to a screen, allowing your consultant to see the inside your womb.
The expert gynaecologists at The London Clinic are highly-skilled in hysteroscopy procedures. As well as taking biopsies, they can also remove polyps, excise fibroids, and treat uterine adhesions through the hysteroscope.
Who can benefit from a hysteroscopy?
A hysteroscopy is an important investigation for women with several gynaecological symptoms and problems. It can be used to investigate:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding, including bleeding after the menopause, bleeding in between periods and heavy periods
- Pelvic pain
- Repeated miscarriage
- Fertility problems
- Diagnosis of fibroids and polyps
- Screening and testing for endometrial cancer
The expert gynaecologists at The London Clinic can also treat conditions through the hysteroscope:
- Treatment and removal of fibroids
- Removal of polyps
- Collection and removal of displaced intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Division of adhesions, which is scar tissue that can cause problems conceiving
Before hysteroscopies were available, gynaecologists may have offered women a D and C (dilatation and curettage) to investigate menstrual problems. Endometrial biopsy, in which the gynaecologist inserts a narrow tube into your womb, through your cervix, and uses suction to take cells from the lining of the uterus, is also an option. However, hysteroscopy is a critical investigation for many women with gynaecological problems.
The NICE ( National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines recommend that women should be offered outpatient hysteroscopies if they have heavy periods, particularly if they also have symptoms or risk factors for gynaecological conditions, including some fibroids, polyps and uterine cancer, including persistent bleeding between periods.
If you are worried about changes to your periods, heavy periods, bleeding after the menopause, or pelvic pain, the expert gynaecologists at The London Clinic can provide expert assessment, investigation, and advice.
Hysteroscopy consultations at The London Clinic
Our experienced gynaecologists will assess and advise you in The London Clinic’s comfortable, private, and well-equipped consulting rooms. They will take a detailed medical history, examine your abdomen and pelvis, and ask about the impact your symptoms have on your health, wellbeing, and quality of life.
Your consultant may arrange tests and investigations in the cutting-edge imaging suite. These may include:
- Blood tests
- Transvaginal ultrasound
In consultation with you, your gynaecologist will then plan your hysteroscopy, explain what will happen during the procedure, and advise you about any preparation needed. They will take time to answer all your questions and address your concerns.
Hysteroscopies at The London Clinic
The gynaecologists at The London Clinic usually perform a hysteroscopy as an outpatient procedure, with or without local anaesthetic. The procedure is of short duration, generally lasting less than 10 minutes.
However, general anaesthetic, a spinal block, and sedation are available for women undergoing a more extensive procedure, are anxious about treatment, are survivors of sexual assault, or have had negative experiences from gynaecological procedures in the past.
Your gynaecologist may initially examine your vagina and pelvis using their fingers. They will then insert the hysteroscope into your vagina, pass it through your cervix and into your womb. The consultant will pass gas or fluid into the uterus to inflate it and provide a clear view.
The digital camera relays high-quality images of the womb to a monitor. The specialist can then use specially-designed fine instruments to take biopsies, remove polyps, and excise fibroids.
Recovery and aftercare
After the procedure, the expert team will provide a pad to protect your clothing and underwear, and support you as you recover.
You will be able to go home on the day of your hysteroscopy. Your team will let you know the findings of the investigation and provide individual guidance on aftercare. They will also arrange follow-up for any treatment needed and to get the results of any biopsies.
You should be able to return to work and normal activities the next day. However, you may experience some crampy pain and bleeding, similar to a period. To prevent infection, you should avoid intercourse for a week, or until any vaginal bleeding has stopped. The team will always be on hand if you have any problems or worries.
Frequently asked questions
Is a hysteroscopy painful?
Most women find a hysteroscopy with local or no anaesthetic acceptable and convenient because they can get straight back to normal activities. However, some women find the procedure uncomfortable. The London Clinic offers all women the choice of having the procedure performed as a day case procedure under general or regional anaesthetic, or using conscious sedation in a safe and monitored environment.
The procedure will always be stopped immediately if you find the outpatient experience too painful. Your comfort, health, and wellbeing is The London Clinic's priority at all times.
Can I have sex after a hysteroscopy?
You should refrain from sex for a week after a hysteroscopy, or until all bleeding has stopped. This can help prevent infection. The team will always be on hand if you have any problems or worries.
Is a hysteroscopy safe?
A diagnostic hysteroscopy is a commonly performed investigation. It is a safe and quick procedure, particularly in the expert hands of The London clinic's gynaecology consultants.
However, every procedure has some risks. Around one in every two hundred women can feel faint and shaky during the procedure. Rarely hysteroscopy can damage the cervix or womb, which may require further treatment. Bleeding can be excessive, especially if you have had polyps or fibroids removed through the hysteroscope.
Treatment, surgery, and rarely hysterectomy may be needed to stop bleeding. The London Clinic’s expert team work hard to minimise complications and maintain your safety,
Why choose The London Clinic?
The London Clinic is dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare with over 600 world-renowned consultants available to offer informed health advice and treatment.
Spanning Harley Street and Devonshire Place, The London Clinic is situated in the heart of London’s internationally-known medical district. This central location, together with state-of-the art technologies and facilities that are not widely available in other hospitals, makes The London Clinic the hospital of choice for around 120,000 patients every year.
Offering affordable and competitive self-pay packages and expert support from Clinical Nurse Specialists and our specialised multidisciplinary team, over 98% of our patients said they would recommend The London Clinic to their friends and families.
The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments. An All-Inclusive Package for this treatment is available from £1,570.
Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.
Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.
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