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Flexible cystoscopy (female)

2-minute read

This page will give you information about a flexible cystoscopy (for women). If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

You can also download and print a PDF version of this factsheet, with space for your own questions or notes.

What is a flexible cystoscopy?

A flexible cystoscopy is a procedure to check for any problems in your bladder using a flexible telescope (cystoscope).

A cystoscopy may be recommended if you are getting pain, blood in your urine, repeated infections, or you may have an irritable bladder (a sudden and uncontrolled urge to pass urine).

Are there any alternatives to a flexible cystoscopy?

A scan may give some information about the cause of the problem.

It is possible to have a rigid cystoscopy that allows your surgeon to treat certain problems. However, a rigid cystoscopy involves a general or spinal anaesthetic.

What does the procedure involve?

A flexible cystoscopy usually takes about 5 minutes.

Your doctor will pass the cystoscope into your urethra.

They will pass fluid through the cystoscope and into your bladder to help them make the diagnosis.

Illustration showing a flexible cystoscopy (female).
A flexible cystoscopy.

Your doctor will use the cystoscope to look for any problems in the lining of your bladder.

If they find a small growth or stone, it may be possible to remove it through the cystoscope.

What complications can happen?

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • narrowing of your urethra

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day, after you have passed urine.

You should be able to return to work the day after the cystoscopy unless you are told otherwise.

Regular exercise should improve your long-term health. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

The healthcare team will tell you what was found during the cystoscopy and discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.

Summary

A flexible cystoscopy is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if there is a problem with your bladder.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The operation and treatment information on this page is published under license by Healthdirect Australia from EIDO Healthcare Australia and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

For more on how this information was prepared, click here.

Last reviewed: September 2018

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