A range of techniques can be used to investigate gynaelogical and urogynaelogical problems.
Ultrasound scanning uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. An ultrasound scan of the womb, ovaries or bladder is often used to check their size and shape in order to rule out any other possible causes of symptoms.
Trans-vaginal ultrasound scanning
Trans-vaginal ultrasound scanning enables a closer look, and involves inserting a small scanner into the vagina to take a close-up image of the womb and ovaries.
Cystoscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the bladder. It is performed using a piece of equipment called a cystoscope.
Hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the uterus (womb). It is done using a hysteroscope, a narrow tube with a telescope at the end.
Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to see and examine things inside the abdomen and pelvis. It is a minimally invasive (keyhole) surgical procedure performed through small 0.5-1cm incisions (cuts). This is made possible using an instrument called a laparoscope.
Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy can also be used to take a biopsy (tissue sample) of the inside lining or the outer layer of the uterus (womb) or ovaries. This sample can then be sent to a laboratory for closer examination under a microscope.
Urodynamic testing is used to find out how the bladder behaves, by measuring the pressures within the bladder and the urethra. The results help the consultant to decide on the best way to treat an incontinent patient. This may not mean surgery; many problems can be treated with tablets or special exercises.