Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content


3-minute read

What is a hysteroscopy?

A hysteroscopy is a procedure that uses a small camera to look inside the uterus, or womb. It is used to diagnose or treat problems with the uterus. Knowing more about what happens during a hysteroscopy means that you can be better prepared.

Why is a hysteroscopy performed?

You might need a hysteroscopy to investigate problems such as heavy periods, abnormal bleeding, fibroids, polyps or infertility. Some conditions of the uterus can be treated during hysteroscopy.

How to prepare for hysteroscopy

You should fast (not have anything to eat or drink) for at least 6 hours before your procedure. Your doctor will be able to advise you if you should have your regular medicines or not on the day of your procedure. You may be asked to take painkillers an hour before the procedure.

And you should ask questions, both before agreeing to have the surgery and before the surgery itself.

What happens during hysteroscopy?

You will be given a local anaesthetic, or in some cases a general anaesthetic. You will usually be asked to lie down and put your legs into stirrups. A thin tube with a camera on the end is put into your vagina and passed through the cervix into the uterus. A small tissue sample from the uterus may be taken for testing. Some conditions can be treated during the hysteroscopy procedure.

What to expect after a hysteroscopy

After a hysteroscopy, you will be monitored while any anaesthetic wears off. You might need some pain relief. You can usually go home the same day, although someone should drive you home.

For 24 hours after hysteroscopy, you should not:

  • drive or operate heavy machinery
  • do any heavy work or exercise

You should use sanitary pads rather than tampons for any bleeding after the procedure. Avoid sexual intercourse until 48 hours after any bleeding has stopped.

What can go wrong?

This is usually a very safe procedure. Most women have bleeding afterwards, similar to a period, for 2 to 7 days. There might be some discomfort, similar to period pain or cramps. If you have fever, severe pain, unusual vaginal discharge or heavy bleeding, you should see a doctor.

Resources and support

About hysteroscopy

Visit The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website for more information about hysteroscopy.

About surgical procedures

Learn more about surgical procedures in general with information such as:

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: November 2020

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Queensland Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.