Side effects are unwanted but usually mild and temporary effects of a successful procedure.
For example, side effects include feeling sick as a result of any general anaesthetic, although medicines are available to relieve this. For hysteroscopy, side effects may include:
- Abdominal pain, similar to period pain
- Vaginal bleeding for several days – although, occasionally, bleeding and discharge continue for up to a month.
Complications are unexpected problems that can occur during or after the procedure. Most women are not affected. The main possible complications of any invasive procedure are bleeding during or soon after the procedure, infection, and an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic.
Other complications are uncommon. In a few cases, the hysteroscopy may not be successfully completed and need to be repeated. It is also possible for the womb to be damaged or perforated during the procedure. This can lead to bleeding and infection, which may require treatment with medicines, surgery or, in an extreme case, a hysterectomy (removal of the womb).
The chance of complications depends on the exact type of procedure that is being performed and other factors such as the woman's general health. The doctor will be able to explain how the risks apply to each woman.