Flexible Cystoscopy (Female)

This page will provide you with information about flexible cystoscopy in women. For further details, you should speak to your consultant.

What is a flexible cystoscopy?

This procedure uses a flexible telescope (cystoscope) to check for problems in your bladder. Problems may include pain when passing urine, blood in the urine, suffering from numerous infections to the bladder or having an irritable bladder causing you to have sudden urges to pass urine.

What are the alternatives?

If you would prefer then a scan is sometimes a viable alternative to flexible cystoscopy as they can provide details on the underlying cause to the problem. A rigid cystoscopy is another alternative to flexible cystoscopy but must be performed under general or spinal anaesthetic. Unlike a scan, the surgeon will be able to treat some issues during the procedure.

What is involved in a flexible cystoscopy procedure?

It is a short procedure – usually no more than 5 minutes long – and involves a surgeon inserting a cystoscope in the urethra (figure 1). Fluid will then be pumped through it into the bladder so that the surgeon can observe the bladder lining and look for growths or stones. The fluid allows for clearer diagnosis and in some cases, growths or stones can be removed through the cystoscope.

Figure 1
Cross-section of the female pelvic region showing a flexible cystoscopy
Copyright © 2015 EIDO Healthcare Limited

Risks and complications

Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.

Flexible cystoscopy recovery

You will probably be allowed to return home the same day, so long as you have passed urine. You will probably also be able to return to work the day after the procedure unless stated otherwise by your doctor. Exercise can aid in the recovery process but should always be cleared with your doctor beforehand. The health team will share the results of the cystoscopy with you once they have been verified and any further treatment will also be discussed.


A flexible cystoscopy is an effective and easy procedure used to identify bladder issues.

References: EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this page is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information provided here should not replace the advice provided by your relevant health professional.

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If you would like to book a consultation regarding flexible cystoscopy please call us on 0208 936 1201 or go to click here to find out more about our self-pay pricing.

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