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A hysteroscopy is a procedure to diagnose and sometimes treat a range of gynaecological issues, including growths, pelvic pain, and abnormal bleeding.

Doctor showing patient images from their hysteroscopy scan
A hysteroscopy is a procedure to look inside your uterus (womb) using a narrow telescope with a light and camera attached to the end of it. This is called a hysteroscope.

The hysteroscope is passed into your womb through your vagina and cervix (the entrance to your womb), which means no cuts need to be made into your skin during the process. The hysteroscope is connected to a monitor, which displays images of the inside of your womb. Your gynaecologist sees these images in real time as they perform the procedure.

A hysteroscopy is an effective way of examining and diagnosing a range of gynaecological issues, including abnormal bleeding, heavy periods, fibroids, and endometrial cancer. In some cases, your consultant can also treat these issues during the hysteroscopy. 

This page will tell you everything you need to know about having a hysteroscopy, from which symptoms and conditions it can be used to investigate and treat, to what to expect during the procedure, to potential side effects.

Hysteroscopy (uterus examination) (LA)

Please be aware that the following prices are a guide price. Your final price will be confirmed in writing following your consultation and any necessary diagnostic tests.

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic Investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Guide price
Hospital fees N/A Not included £2,025 Included £2,025
Consultants fees from £200 N/A Included Included £200
Guide price £2,225

You might need a hysteroscopy if you have symptoms of any of the following gynaecological problems:

Uterine fibroids

Most women will develop one or more uterine fibroids during their reproductive lifespan. Uterine fibroids can lead to heaviness and pressure across your pelvic area. If left untreated, uterine fibroids will continue to grow, causing increased pelvic pain.

Pelvic pain

Pelvic pain can be caused by a wide array of conditions. If you have sudden and severe pelvic pain (acute pelvic pain) or experience pelvic pain for six months or more (chronic pain) then you might be recommended a hysteroscopy. These symptoms indicate conditions including endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Intrauterine adhesions

Intrauterine adhesions are areas of scar tissue that form between the inner walls of your uterus, causing them to stick together in a way that can cause various problems. Adhesions can happen as a result of injury or trauma, for example during pregnancy. This scar tissue can cause pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, and irregular periods. 

Ovarian cysts

Most women will be unaware that they have an ovarian cyst(s) because they are usually asymptomatic. If you do have symptoms, you will likely experience pelvic pain, pain during sex, and unusually heavy periods. 

A pelvic tumour

A pelvic tumour is any one of many types of tumour that can be found in your pelvic area. These can be cancerous or non-cancerous. Pelvic tumours typically cause a feeling of pressure on your tummy, bloating, and urinary and bowel changes. 

These are just some of the conditions that can be diagnosed (and sometimes treated) through hysteroscopy. If you have any of these conditions, you will most likely experience one or more of the following symptoms: 

  • Heavy periods
  • Irregular periods
  • Tummy and pelvic pain
  • Bloating and swelling
  • A feeling of pressure and fullness across your tummy
  • Urinary and bowel changes
  • Pain during sex
  • Difficulty getting pregnant

You can usually see a specialist for your initial consultation within 48 hours of booking your appointment with us. Give us a call on 0141 300 5009 and we'll help you find an appointment time that suits you.

During your initial appointment, your consultant will ask about your general health and medical history. They will want to know about any existing medical conditions you have, as well as the current symptoms you are experiencing. They'll ask you how these symptoms impact your everyday life, how often they occur, and whether you have had any treatment for them yet.

In order to assess your symptoms and make an accurate diagnosis, your consultant will carry out a gentle physical examination of your tummy. In some cases you might also need an X-ray or ultrasound, which will be performed onsite by one of our radiologists. Sometimes you will have to come back another day to have one of these tests.

Your initial consultation is an important and positive step in your journey toward better health. To make the most of this appointment, be sure to talk as openly and honestly as you like about the pain and other symptoms you're experiencing, the way they make you feel, and what you're hoping to get from treatment. 

The time you'll wait between your initial consultation and a hysteroscopy (or any other treatment you're recommended) will differ from person to person. Your consultant will share a good idea of timelines during your initial consultation, after which they'll put together a fixed-price treatment package based on everything you have discussed together. Once all this has been agreed, we can get you booked in to have your hysteroscopy at a time that suits you.

In preparation for a hysteroscopy, you might need to have your bloods taken. This is to check your general health before the procedure, and whether you are pregnant. You cannot have a hysteroscopy if you are pregnant.

You might also be advised to stop smoking (if applicable) during the lead-up to having the procedure.

Your healthcare team will ensure you know exactly how to prepare for a hysteroscopy, so there won't be any surprises along the way. If you need to stop smoking for a short period before surgery, they will offer offer advise and support on how best to do this.  

You won't necessarily need anaesthetic in advance of your hysteroscopy. It will depend on why you are having the operation and whether you are having treatment or are having the procedure to get a diagnosis. 

Some people will not need any anaesthetic, while others will be given a local anaesthetic, which will be applied to numb your cervix (entrance to the womb). Longer or more complicated procedures to treat issues such as fibroids and polyps might be performed under general anaesthetic.

To begin, you will be asked to lie on a bed with your legs apart. An instrument called a speculum will be inserted into your vagina to hold it open (the same instrument used for a cervical screening test). Your consultant will then carefully insert a hysteroscope up your vagina and into your womb. You might experience some cramping and discomfort as it passes through your cervix. Fluid will be gently pumped into your womb to help your consultant see things more clearly in the images transmitted by the hysteroscope.

Your consultant will examine your womb using the monitor connected to the hysteroscope. If you feel discomfort or pain at any point during the procedure, you can tell your consultant. They can stop at any point.

If you're having a hysteroscopy to treat a condition such as fibroids or polyps, your consultant will pass specialist surgical instruments along the hysteroscope to cut or burn away the abnormal tissue.

A hysteroscopy usually takes between five and 30 minutes depending on your reason for having it.

We offer many types of hysteroscopy with Circle Health Group. These include:

A hysteroscopy biopsy

Your consultant might perform a hysteroscopy to remove a sample of abnormal tissue from your cervix or uterus. A biopsy is performed to detect precancerous and cancerous cells. Your tissue sample will be examined under a microscope by a pathologist, who can determine whether your cells are precancerous or cancerous. 

Hysteroscopy for Mirena coil insertion

The Mirena coil is a small plastic device that releases the hormone progestogen and stops you from getting pregnant. It has several different brand names, and can be fitted during any stage in your menstrual cycle, provided you're not pregnant. It takes around 15 minutes to fit during a hysteroscopy, and lasts for five to 10 years. 

Hysteroscopy for cauterisation

Cauterisation is usually performed to remove abnormal tissue (growths) from your uterus or cervix. During a hysteroscopy for cauterisation, your consultant will use electricity or specialist chemicals to burn away the abnormal tissue. You might need to have more than one round of cauterisation to remove the tissue depending on its size and location.  

Hysteroscopy for the resection (removal) of polyps

Polyps are small growths of tissue. They can grow in many areas of your body, including your cervix. Cervical polyps are usually noncancerous, but can become more uncomfortable as they grow. During the resection (removal) of polyps, your consultant will use a technique known as dilation and curettage. This involves opening your cervix and inserting a curette, which is a specialist instrument or suction device, to remove polyps. 

If you have had general anaesthetic for the procedure, you might feel tired and disorientated as you recover from the effects of the general anaesthetic. You will be monitored by your nurse until you are fully awake and able to eat, drink, and use the toilet. Do not drink alcohol or drive for at least 24 hours after the procedure, as you may still be drowsy after the anaesthetic.

For a few days after the procedure, you're likely to feel some pain and discomfort that is similar to period pain, but this can be eased with traditional painkillers (for example paracetamol or ibuprofen). You might also experience some spotting and bleeding. This is nothing to worry about and should resolve in a day or two, but you should use sanitary towels rather than tampons to avoid getting an infection. 

The time it takes to recover from hysteroscopy differs for everyone. It depends on factors such as your age, the reason for having the procedure (whether it was used to diagnose or treat a condition), and your hysteroscopy results (you might need further treatment). Most women recover and return to their usual activities within 24 hours, but some need a few days off work to rest and recover. 

Your healthcare team will be able to explain your hysteroscopy recovery timeline in detail, offering tailored information about how long the process will take based on your individual needs and circumstances. 

We answer some of your frequently asked questions about having a hysteroscopy.

What is a hysteroscopy?

A hysteroscopy is a procedure to look inside your uterus (womb) using a narrow telescope with a light and camera attached to the end of it. This tool (a hysteroscope) is passed into your womb through your vagina and cervix (the entrance to your womb), which means no cuts need to be made into your skin during the process. 

How long does a hysteroscopy take?

A hysteroscopy usually takes between five and 30 minutes depending on your reason for having it. A hysteroscopy for treatment usually takes longer than a diagnostic hysteroscopy. 

Can you have a hysteroscopy while on your period?

Yes, the procedure can be performed when you are on your period.

Does a hysteroscopy look at your ovaries?

Yes, a hysteroscopy looks inside your womb, including your uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and internal pelvic area.

Is a hysteroscopy a major surgery?

A hysteroscopy is considered minor surgery. It is a keyhole surgery, meaning it is minimally invasive and requires small incisions. 

Complications are not common during a hysteroscopy, however there are risks attached to any surgery you might have. Potential risks when you have a hysteroscopy include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Vomiting or feeling sick
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Bloating and cramping
  • Infection
  • Accidental damage to the womb (this is uncommon, but might require treatment with antibiotics)
  • Tearing of the uterus (rare)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:   

  • Flexible appointment times and locations to fit your routine  
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and Consultant suit your needs
  • Personalised, Consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs  
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams  
  • Support by the same compassionate clinical team from beginning to end  
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included  
  • Flexible payment options to spread the cost of your care

If you would like to learn more about this procedure, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in May 2022. Next review due May 2025.

  1. Hysteroscopy, NHS
  2. Hysteroscopy, Cleveland Clinic
  3. Hysteroscopy, Johns Hopkins Medicine
  4. Hysteroscopy, NHS Inform
  5. Outpatient hysteroscopy, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

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