Endometrial biopsy

Written by Medicine and Health. Posted in Tests, procedures and surgery

(Biopsy, Endometrial)

Endometrial biopsy – Definition

This is a procedure to remove a tissue sample from the lining of the uterus (womb).

The Endometrium

Endometrial biopsy – Reasons for Procedure

Some reasons for an endometrial biopsy include:

  • Evaluate the cause of bleeding in postmenopausal women
  • Evaluate heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Obtain a tissue sample to test for cancer or precancerous conditions
  • Monitor the uterine lining in women on estrogen replacement therapy
  • Help evaluate the cause of infertility or repeated miscarriages

Endometrial biopsy – Possible Complications

If you are planning to have an endometrial biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to the uterus (rare)

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Smoking
  • Cesarean section or previous surgery on the cervix
  • Radiation therapy to the area

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure. If you are pregnant, the test cannot be done.

Endometrial biopsy – What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

You may need to schedule the biopsy for a certain time during your menstrual cycle.

Your doctor may do the following:

  • Physical and pelvic exam
  • Blood tests
  • Urine test

Leading up to your procedure, you may be advised to:

  • Take a pain reliever one hour before the procedure.
  • Wear or bring a sanitary pad to the health clinic.

Endometrial biopsy – Anesthesia

Usually none is needed. Sometimes local anesthesia is used to numb the cervix.

Endometrial biopsy – Description of the Procedure

You will lie on a table with your feet in foot rests. The doctor will use a speculum to look into the vagina. An instrument called a tenaculum will be used to grasp the cervix. A flexible, thin, suction tube will be passed through the vagina and into the uterus. The doctor will suction out a small sample of endometrial tissue.

Endometrial biopsy – Immediately After Procedure

After the biopsy, you may feel lightheaded. Lying down for 5-10 minutes will help. Once you feel better, you will be able to go home.

Endometrial biopsy – How Long Will It Take?

About 10-15 minutes

Endometrial biopsy – Will It Hurt?

You may feel some cramping and pressure during the biopsy. Your doctor may give you pain medicine after the procedure.

Endometrial biopsy – Post-procedure Care

When you return home after the procedure, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Expect some cramping and bleeding. Use sanitary napkins. Do not use tampons.
  • Ask your doctor when you can resume:
    • Using tampons
    • Having sex
  • Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Your doctor will receive results in about a week. She will work with you to create a treatment plan.

Endometrial biopsy – Call Your Doctor

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Excessive bleeding (more than your normal menstrual period or saturating a pad within one hour)
  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Severe pain
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

Tags: , ,