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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about a hysteroscopy?

A hysteroscopy is a procedure to find and treat problems in your uterus. A hysteroscopy may be done to find, and possibly treat, the cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding, problems getting pregnant, or miscarriage. It may also be done to insert or remove a device that prevents pregnancy.

Female Reproductive System

How do I prepare for a hysteroscopy?

  • Your procedure may be done at your healthcare provider's office, an outpatient facility, or a hospital. Arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare. You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure.
  • You may need to stop taking blood thinners or aspirin several days before your procedure. This will help decrease your risk for bleeding. Your provider will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure. You may be told to take ibuprofen on the day of your procedure to control pain. You may be given an antibiotic to prevent infection. Tell healthcare providers if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.
  • Your healthcare provider may put medicine on your cervix before your procedure. This will help open your cervix so the scope can be inserted into your uterus more easily. A scope is a small tube with a light and a camera on the end.

What will happen during a hysteroscopy?

  • You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain. You may instead be given medicine to help you relax, and local or spinal anesthesia. With local or spinal anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing, but you should not feel any pain. Your healthcare provider will gently insert a device into your vagina. The device opens the walls of your vagina so your healthcare provider can see your cervix. Tools or medicine will be used to open your cervix.
  • Your provider will insert the scope through your cervix and into your uterus. Your provider may inject air or fluid to help see inside your uterus more clearly. Tools inserted through the scope may be used to remove scar tissue, growths such as polyps or fibroids, or a sample of tissue. Tools may also be used to control bleeding.
  • A vaginal pack or sanitary pad may be used to absorb the bleeding. A vaginal pack is a special gauze that is inserted into the vagina. It will be removed before you go home.

What will happen after a hysteroscopy?

Healthcare providers will monitor you until you are awake. You may be able to go home, or you may need to spend a night in the hospital. It is normal to have vaginal bleeding and cramps for 2 to 3 days after your procedure. Your bleeding may range from barely staining a pad to soaking a pad every 2 to 3 hours. You may see blood clots on the pad. Call your healthcare provider if you see blood clots that are larger than the size of a quarter.

What are the risks of a hysteroscopy?

You may get an infection or bleed more than expected. Scar tissue may form in your uterus. This may make it difficult to get pregnant. You may have an allergic reaction to the fluid injected into your uterus. The fluid may build up and cause problems in your lungs, heart, or brain. This may become life-threatening. The scope or tools may make a hole in your cervix, uterus, bowels, or bladder. This may require more surgery to fix and may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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