"Hysteroscopy, excruciatingly painful & horrendous experience"

About: Royal Derby Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

gynae referral from GP as having mid-cycle bleeding, saw consultant a few weeks ago & said hysteroscopy required to check & get a sample from womb lining. he did explain that some found this painful but just to tell them to stop if was too much & I would have to come back as a day case instead of outpatients.

I was given 2 paracetamol & 2 ibuprofen when sitting in the waiting room. all staff were friendly & helpful but not a great deal of explanation was received before it was carried out. original consultant had advised this would be done under a local anaesthetic but 2nd consultant seen on the day said this wasn't the case. I'd already said that I wanted to avoid having to use gas & air if possible as it made me sick last time I'd had it.

at no point before or during the procedure did anyone say "please stop us if this is too painful", it was only just a few more minutes...you'll get some cramping pains now repeated numerous times.

a small polyp was found on my cervix & another within my womb, both were removed. I can't say if either of these removals were painful as I was in constant agony from start to finish & I have no idea if peak pain coincided with these procedures.

I felt increasingly faint & think I did actually pass out at one point, just for a few seconds. what was being done was being explained to me as they went along, but it was incredibly hard to actually understand as I was in so much pain. at one point I cried out in pain, only to be told "I'm not doing anything at the moment". I think the procedure lasted 10-15 minutes, however, being in excruciating pain for the whole time, this felt a lot longer.

I was taken back in to see the consultant & the clinician who had performed the procedure but I can't really tell you what was said as I was still in a lot of pain & felt very faint. I was told that I needed to have some blood tests & that the facility within the hospital was still open for 15 minutes. I replied that I'd get that sorted at my GP's as there was no way I was rushing around anywhere at that point.

a nurse took me through to the recovery room & brought my husband to sit with me. thankfully he'd driven me to the hospital, it would definitely not have been safe for me to drive myself home. I sat in recovery for approx. 10 mins & was feeling worse as time went on so decided to leave. once up & about, very carefully & slowly, the pain did decrease a little & I was able to walk the short distance to the car park with the help of my husband.

I continued to take 2 paracetamol & 2 ibuprofen at 4 hourly intervals for the rest of that day & the next as I experienced very bad cramping. bleeding was heavy for 12-18 hours but blood & discharge had cleared within 4 days. I still have a sensation of being 'internally bruised' & am having mild cramps a week later.

this procedure was performed a week ago & even now I still feel somewhat traumatised by the whole experience. it's taken this long for me to be able to actually think about what happened & feel ok to get it down in writing.

for me, this was an extremely painful & horrendous procedure to have to endure & I fully believe that this should not be done unless under a general anaesthetic.

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Response from Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Good afternoon

Thank you for sharing your experience and we are sorry to hear that the procedure you undertook was so painful.

We would be happy to investigate this matter further and if you would like to contact Patient Advice & Liaison (PALS) on Freephone 0800 7837691 or via email dhft.contactpals@nhs.net please quote reference 30134.

Kind regards