This procedure enables visualisation of the inside of the womb, via a hysteroscope. This is a narrow cylindrical instrument which is passed through the vagina and cervix, into the cavity of the uterus. In some cases this is done with the patient awake, on other occasions a general anaesthetic may be used. The view is improved by distending the womb with some clear fluid or gas. Abnormalities in the womb cavity can be seen and a biopsy of the lining is often taken.

Operative hysteroscopy may involve removal of polyps, fibroids, or the womb lining, or cutting of adhesions or congenital abnormalities such as uterine septae.

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    Risks of hysteroscopy

    Complications are rare. Infections of the womb lining can occasionally occur. The most significant complication is making a small hole (perforation) in the wall of the uterus. This usually heals without any specific treatment. If this occurs, a laparoscopy may be required.

    After a hysteroscopy

    Minor vaginal bleeding or discharge, and period type pains, may occur for several days. Sex should be avoided until this stops.