I wanted to share an important survey with you, aimed at women in the UK who have experienced 'office hysteroscopy' - a procedure where a camera is inserted into the uterus and biopsies taken - while awake and without anaesthetic. The survey form is here:
It's believed that up to 30% of patients find this procedure intolerably painful, and many faint, vomit or have to abandon the procedure. I've spoken to many who have suffered long term PTSD as a result. Despite this, there are calls for this cheap and nasty method of doing hysteroscopy the norm. As is so often the case, women are not believed about their pain.
I myself had to undergo a hysteroscopy recently and I was lucky to be well informed: I knew from reading countless testimonials how painful it could be, and I insisted on a general anaesthetic. The experience was great: I was at home a couple of hours later and had virtually no pain.
I strongly believe this is how it should be done - unless the patient strongly wants to go ahead with an outpatient procedure having been made aware of the risk of severe pain.
But other women are not so lucky, and many have no idea they can have this procedure with proper pain relief. In fact, many are told it will be no more uncomfortable than a smear :(.
The test is often used to detect womb cancer, so women are understandably anxious to have it done, and without being given all the information, many think they have no option but to have it with no pain relief.
If you've had this experience can you please, please complete the survey and help to raise awareness of the problems with outpatient hysteroscopy among those with influence in this area of women's health? This could help many women in future to be at least fully informed about what this procedure entails.