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Painful hysteroscopy

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I was in a real panic after reading all the negative experiences patents were having regarding pain during Hysteroscopy  procedure. I accept these women’s experiences are real and what they have experienced should not have happened. But I also wanted to share my experience today which was a good one. 
I was seen at ST James hospital Leeds. I was very anxious and nervous and  even felt nauseous and faint. The way I was feeling was mainly down to me reading online patient’s experiences regarding painful Hysteroscopy. 

I was petrified, but I was one of the lucky ones. I was greated by friendly professional staff who  put me at ease from the start. 
The Hysteroscopy Practitioner
and nurses listened to all my concerns regarding the procedure and what I had read online. They admitted some women would not be able to tolerate the procedure because of stenosis of the cervix or other medical reasons. But if this was the case the procedure would be stopped. They told me I was in control at all times. It was my body and I could stop the procedure  if experiencing pain.
The practitioner answered all my questions honestly and gave me time to make an informed decision. Even giving me options should I decide not to have it. I feel all women should be given informed choice and good practice should be shared across all NHS trusts. 

I decided to go ahead, because I felt confident that my concerns had been listened to and I could stop the procedure if needed. I was treated with respect and dignity throughout. I was continually asked if I was ok and if I had any pain. I did  experience cramp period like pain but nothing that wasn’t bearable. A polyp was removed and biopsy taken . I was told I would receive a letter with the biopsy results within 4 weeks. 

It saddens me to read some of the horrific stories some women have endured during this procedure. It should not be happening. Sharing good practice across all NHS trusts is essential for women to feel safe and listened to . Recording good and bad outcomes of women’s experiences during the hysteroscopy procedure is essential. I feel pain scores should also be recorded on all patients undergoing this procedure. So informed decisions can be made by professionals and patients in the future. 




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Hi @Lorraine 2 Many thanks for sharing your positive experience of undergoing a hysteroscopy procedure.

I am very pleased to hear that you felt supported, informed and that the pain was manageable. Sharing good practice examples is vital, as you say, for improving the quality of care more broadly in this area. Routine collection of pain scores is also important, as you have also highlighted, if we are to understand the prevalence of high levels of pain. 

If you have not already seen this, the calls to action at the end of this blog may be of interest to you:

Thank you again for sharing your experience


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On 08/02/2020 at 12:58, ShropshireJos said:

I had an horrendous outpatient hysteroscopy 

Referred after pm bleeding, having started menopause aged 36. 

Researched online before and saw some women had experienced pain. I specifically asked the dr on more than one occasion if there was a chance of pain. He said have you given birth vaginally?, I replied yes, to which he said the worst i would feel would be akin to period pain. It was barbaric, i was crying and passing out with pain.  The nurses in the room with me simply tried to chat about inane topics to distract me! Was unable to walk back to my car fir about 2 hours after as each time i stood up and began to faint again. 

I am appalled that in 21st century Britain,  the NHS is still allowing this

Here's a link to my full story https://hystericalwomen.co.uk/2019/12/11/the-most-painful-moment-of-my-life-the-national-scandal-of-barbaric-outpatient-hysteroscop

This sounds horrendous and I'm sorry you had such a terrible time. I have just come back from my own hysteroscopy and it was so painful and traumatic. I feel totally fobbed off with the whole paracetamol and ibuprofen thing. Didn't make a difference. I would say it was worse than labour for me. I was screaming and writhing around in agony and then in tears and shaking in shock. I feel when they say, might feel 'uncomfortable' or 'like mild period cramps', it is very misleading. I was so overwhelmed by the pain. It was to explore a 2 yr post menopausal bleed and looks like I still might need to do it again under a GA as she wasn't able to get all she needed from biopsy. No polyps seen though so that's good. I am Mum to a 16 year old born via emergency c section and the trauma of that experience came flooding back. Barbaric is the right word. Doctor and nurses did their best but I definitely didn't understand how painful it could potentially be. Never ever again without GA. 

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On 25/07/2023 at 21:52, Carrie said:

I think that you may find that most of us who experience painful hysteroscopies do so at a NHS hospital where it is usual not to be offered any pain relief. Those of us who actually received a patient information leaflet are advised that it's just like period pain and we may want to take a couple of paracetamol prior to the procedure. Some of us have a hysteroscopy sprung on us after  having an ultrasound scan and are not even aware of what the procedure we experience actually is. 

Sadly it does all seem to come down to cost,  but it should not mean that women who can't afford private health care should suffer unduly and, who knows, may die as a result of not returning for any further treatment in the light of their painful experience. 

I totally agree. Shouldn’t matter if the procedure is paid for or not the NHS should be able to provide an adequate service. Everyone deserves to receive a   Safe and as painless as possible procedure. I have 3 daughters and would hate them to have to go through something like I’ve been hearing with you ladies 😞 

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"Hysteroscopy without anaesthetic like being flayed alive" 

Hysteroscopy is in the news today. A woman from Wales describes her horrific experience of undergoing a hysteroscopy with an anaesthetic.


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