Hysteroscopy is a means of directly visualising the lining of the uterine cavity (endometrium) using a camera which is passed through the vagina, cervix and into the uterus. It is a minor day procedure typically done when the patient is asleep under general anaesthesia to investigate issues with abnormal bleeding.
Bleeding may be caused by excessive thinning or thickening of the endometrium and is an important symptom of endometrial cancer, particularly in post-menopausal women. All women who experience bleeding after menopause should seek medical advice from their GP to investigate these symptoms. Referral to a specialist gynaecologist is recommended after examination and pelvic ultrasound to assess the lining of the uterus and exclude any other causes for bleeding.
The appearance of the endometrial cavity may give some clue to what is causing the symptoms but ultimately the diagnosis is made through sampling the endometrium and sending it to a pathologist for assessment. This is commonly referred to as a dilatation and curettage (D&C) as the cervix needs to be dilated to pass the sampling instrument (curette) into the cavity to remove the tissue.