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A hysteroscopy is a simple procedure to investigate the inside of your uterus. A very thin camera and a tiny light are inserted through your cervix and allow your gynecologist to see any issues much more clearly.

It is a simple day procedure, usually done under general anaesthetic.

Hysteroscopies are often recommended to investigate abnormal menstrual bleeding, to determine if you have polyps or fibroids, or to determine possible reasons for infertility. The hysteroscope also allows minor surgical operations to be carried out. These can include taking a biopsy or a small section of tissue from the wall of your uterus, or providing minor corrective surgery, such as the removal of a fibroid. The procedure itself only takes between ten and 30 minutes and you should be able to go home around one  to three hours after the procedure.

You may experience some slight pain or cramping, not unlike a period, and this can be treated with paracetamol or ibuprofen. It is not uncommon to have slight bleeding or spotting after a hysteroscopy. Should this happen, please use a pad and not a tampon to reduce the risk of infection.

After A Hysteroscopy

You should be able to return to work and your regular exercise routine the day after the procedure, although Guy will discuss your options with you, based on what was discovered and if any biopsies were taken.


A hysteroscopy is a very common procedure used to examine the inside of the womb (uterus), using a hysteroscope. This is a small camera and a light, on a flexible mount.

The apparatus is relatively simple, and the procedure can be performed by a gynaecologist, your doctor or specialist nurse. 

No cuts or surgery is required.

The camera is passed through your vagina and into your uterus.

No cuts or surgery is required. 

You should allow for it to be a day procedure. Each procedure is different, depending on what the doctor or surgeon is looking for.

If it is a simple diagnosis or investigation, it can take as little as 5 minutes or as long as 30 minutes.

If you are having a treatment or would like to be asleep while the procedure is taking place, a general anaesthetic will be recommended.

You do not need to stay in hospital overnight.

A hysteroscopy can be used to investigate all sorts of issues. Given how simple the procedure can be, it is a handy diagnostic tool and is used for: 

  • investigating symptoms – a hysteroscopy can help determine the reasons behind heavy or painful periods, irregular bleeding – including any bleeding after menopause, pain in the pelvis or lower abdomen, recurrent miscarriages or if you have trouble conceiving
  • diagnosing conditions – including non-cancerous conditions like fibroids or polyps
  • treating conditions – the hysteroscope has the capability to collect samples and can be used to remove fibroids, retrieve IUDs and reduce scar tissue which can cause problems with trying to fall pregnant.

If you do not wish to have a hysteroscopy, you can ask for either a pelvic ultrasound, where the doctor inserts an ultrasound probe in the vagina to get a clear image of your uterus, or an endometrial biopsy, where a suction tube is passed through your cervix to take a sample from the wall of the uterus.

Please note, these procedures do not give your gynaecologist as much information as a hysteroscopy and do not provide the same opportunities to treat any issues your doctor may find. 

It differs from woman to woman. We recommend you allow a day before resuming normal activities, however some women are able to return to work immediately. 

You can eat and drink as you normally would.

You might have slight cramping or light bleeding. This is normal.

You should avoid sex until a few days after any bleeding has stopped. 

If you have a general anaesthetic as part of the procedure, we suggest at least one, and preferably two days off before returning to work.