"Hysteroscopy so painful I began to pass out"

About: Leicester Royal Infirmary / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I went for a hysteroscopy last week at Leicester Royal Infirmary and I was not at all worried. The prior information suggested that there would be minimal pain - no local anaesthetic needed. I did however, take 2 Paracetamol 1 hour prior just in case. I have had endometrial biopsies taken previous to the appointment which were also very painful but I know that the procedure for my hysteroscopy was 'just a tiny camera' to look in my uterus.

Well, it was so excruciatingly painful that I began to shout out, my body went into shock and I started to sweat profusely. I came over disorientated and dizzy, I felt heavily nauseous and I began to pass out.

I have never experienced agonising pain like it in all my life. I was unable to sit or stand, I had to be assisted to walk into a recovery room and was only offered ibuprofen and a cup of tea to make me feel better. When walking back to the car I could only take tiny and slow steps as I was in so much pain still.

After getting home I did some research online and found that there are SCORES of other women who have been through the EXACT same thing - again, with NO local anaesthetic. I found an article on the Daily Mail website, campaign groups and MP's who are fighting to make local anaesthetic during this procedure compulsory.

I am horrified that the hospital staff made this procedure out to be 'routine' and side effects noted as 'risk of some cramping'. In my experience, this is a massive understatement.

The use of no local anesthesia in this procedure seriously requires investigation.

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Response from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Dear littledropofrain,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review.

I am very sorry that you had such an unsatisfactory experience in hysteroscopy clinic. The majority of patients tolerate hysteroscopy well and experience some cramping abdominal pain and some bleeding afterwards, but these are normally manageable with simple analgesics such as paracetamol.

Some patients do experience more pain or are unable to tolerate the procedure and require a general anaesthetic, but this will be a decision made by the staff performing the procedure in conjunction with the patient. A small number of patients have a more significant reaction.

Whilst we do sometimes use local anaesthetic this is the exception as the evidence does not support its use for reduction of pain as the pain is often due to distension of the cervical canal or uterine cavity and this is not prevented by local anaesthetic. National Guidance does not support its use.

lf you're happy to do so, please email your name, address, date of birth and hospital number to: communications@uhl-tr.nhs.uk and we can look into your case individually and discuss this in more detail with you.

Kind regards,

Quentin Davies,

Consultant Gynaecology

Leicester's Hospitals