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No anaesthetic: am I being a wimp?

(142 Posts)
JackK Fri 07-May-21 18:08:04

Today I was called by the hospital for a hysteroscopy (which may also include a biopsy while they're 'in there') next Thursday, and instructed to take 2 paracetamol and an ibuprofen beforehand.
When I asked whether a local anaesthetic was possible ... the answer was an apologetic no.
Am I being a wimp? My pain threshold is pretty high, but the thought of it ... aaaaargh.

ExD Fri 07-May-21 18:16:12

I'm not sure, but I think you could ask for light sedation, where you are not quite 'under' and able to follow instructions, such as 'hold your breath, but feel no pain.
My husband had it when he had a colonoscopy and says he remembers nothing of the whole procedure.
Ask, beg, demand.
(they have to keep you in hospital a few hours longer when they want rid of you as soon as possible)

Blossoming Fri 07-May-21 18:17:45

No, you’re not being a wimp! I had one and it was horrendous. You are entitled to have sedation or even a general anaesthetic if that’s what you want.

Hithere Fri 07-May-21 18:29:21

I have learned really fast to demand politely what is needed from hospitals, as sometimes justify it as "it is not procedure"

For one mri, they allowed a child life specialist if there was no anesthesia involved.
I politely but assertively said we needed both and I would appreciate it immensely if it could be possible so the mri could go as smooth as possible.

Greenfinch Fri 07-May-21 18:37:57

I had one last year and although it was a little uncomfortable it was not what I would call painful.It felt like strong period cramps but taking a paracetamol a few hours beforehand took the edge off. A nurse offered her hand to squeeze during the procedure which I found very comforting.The thought of it was worse than the actuality. You don't need a local anaesthetic.

Jackie7698 Fri 07-May-21 18:52:40

I've had 3 hysteroscopys over the last 4 years - the first was painful but bearable but they didn't get enough tissue for the biopsy. The second was excruciating and I thought I'd pass out - again biopsy not possible. 3 weeks ago I had the last under general anathestic cos I couldn't face it again. The surgeon who did it said that because I had a caesarian (sorry about the spelling)the scar tissue meant they should never have tried without a ga. If you are post menopausal and haven't given birth vaginally don't do it!

Lin52 Fri 07-May-21 18:58:29


I'm not sure, but I think you could ask for light sedation, where you are not quite 'under' and able to follow instructions, such as 'hold your breath, but feel no pain.
My husband had it when he had a colonoscopy and says he remembers nothing of the whole procedure.
Ask, beg, demand.
(they have to keep you in hospital a few hours longer when they want rid of you as soon as possible)

As an ex Gynae nurse, and well versed in this procedure, we did not want to get rid of patients as quickly as possible. Hysteroscopy is normally done in an outpatient clinic, which has no beds, although if necessary women can be taken to a ward bed. You can request it done under a GA, which means hospital admission. Colonoscopy suites regularly give sedation, and are therefore equipped to deal with post op care, and have recovery chairs. So if really worried talk to your Consultant.

Greenfinch Fri 07-May-21 19:00:58

That's very interesting Jackie. I can see why it was easier for me as I have had 3 vaginal births.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 07-May-21 19:05:50

No you aren’t. I had one quite a few years ago and I nearly went through the ceiling. Honestly I felt violated, to such an extent I simply didn’t follow it up. I was lucky that eventually all was well but I did take a risk I think.

I might add that no advice re painkillers beforehand was given.

silverlining48 Fri 07-May-21 19:06:03

Sedation is a very good option, you are awake, can speak but you feel nothing. Well that’s my colonoscopy experience. Good luck.

JackK Fri 07-May-21 19:33:54

Thanks everyone. A nurse friend has just told me that some sort of gel (can't remember the name of it) should be used to relax my bits ... that sounds better! I'll ask them to explain the procedure exactly and take your advice re asking politely for a sedative ... perhaps I could feign a 'mad lady face' when I request it. That might encourage them to find something to quieten me down ?

JackK Fri 07-May-21 19:35:51

Ps: I've had two vaginal births and am post menopausal. Cross your fingers for me!

PaperMonster Fri 07-May-21 20:12:39

I had a GA for mine - wasn’t given a choice!

You might find this helpful. Sounds barbaric todo it without one.

hulahoop Fri 07-May-21 20:14:57

Good luck it will be a local anaesthetic gel probably hope all goes well .

grandmajet Fri 07-May-21 20:16:39

I had four vaginal births.
Several years later I had a hysteroscopy and found it excruciating. They had to stop. I am somewhat of a wimp though.

mokryna Fri 07-May-21 20:35:32

I have had three children but I have a tilted uterus. The tests I had last year were painful and they were not so deep as yours will be. I was told to take tablets for period cramps, the same day as well as the day beforehand the next time.

Good luck and let us know what you did.

janeainsworth Fri 07-May-21 20:41:24

Jack if your request for sedation is declined, it might be worth asking if your GP could prescribe you Diazepam to take by mouth to relax you.
Good luck.

SueDonim Fri 07-May-21 21:00:51

A friend who needed this investigation demanded that she had an anaesthetic or sedation, because she’s had a prior traumatic birth experience. They were very reluctant but she stood her ground and got what she wanted.

I wonder how many men would tolerate such an equivalent invasive procedure without anaesthesia. It’s barbaric, actually, to deny women pain relief/sedation.

ExD Fri 07-May-21 21:32:35

That was insensitive of me Lin and I apologise. I suppose it was the lack of recovery beds that gave me the impression the staff wanted to get rid of me. I was certainly refused sedation on the grounds that I was being selfish wanting staff to stay after hours to look after me. All the same I should have insisted.
JackK you don't need to be brave, the sedation is available so why not take advantage of it?

BlueBelle Fri 07-May-21 21:45:02

I don’t think you’re being a wimp at all I asked for it when I had a endoscopy and remembered nothing They told me I didn’t need one and it would be fine but I told them I couldn’t do it without and they gave it me
Different people can tolerate different things
Don’t be afraid to ask

annsixty Fri 07-May-21 21:58:00

Please don’t anticipate that it will be painful because it may not be.
I had one and it was uncomfortable but nothing more.
I had no anaesthetic just a spray before the Dr started.
Being terribly tense will exacerbate the pain.
Ask though, get all the help you can.

suziewoozie Fri 07-May-21 22:02:21

Don’t use the word wimp - why is it wimpish to want to avoid pain? Having to bear unnecessary pain is barbaric. There’s also a whiff of sexism in this. Why risk it ? You have a moral right to sedation. When I had mine ( years ago) a biopsy was also planned so I had a GA. That was standard procedure then. Paracetamol and ibuprofen ? Fiddlesticks.

suziewoozie Fri 07-May-21 22:05:18

What BlueBelle posted whilst I was typing. I disagree ann we’re allowed to get tense and scared if we want and to be given
help - it’s the 21st century . Being brave is much overrated

suziewoozie Fri 07-May-21 22:06:27

And what SueD posted

silverlining48 Fri 07-May-21 22:45:47

Would second using diazepam which is very good for this sort of situation. My gp prescribed for dental treatments and said I could take up to 4, but best check with your doctor.