Endometrial Biopsy

When to call your health care provider?

  • Excessive bleeding, or bleeding longer than two days after the procedure
  • Foul-smelling drainage from your vagina
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Severe lower abdominal pain

What is Endometrial biopsy?

Endometrial biopsy is a procedure in which a tissue sample is taken from the lining of the uterus (endometrium), and is checked under a microscope for any abnormal cells or signs of cancer.

An endometrial biopsy may be done to find the cause of abnormal menstrual periods (heavy, prolonged, or irregular bleeding), bleeding after menopause, bleeding from taking hormone therapy medications, thickened uterine lining seen on ultrasound, to check for overgrowth of the lining (endometrial hyperplasia) or to check for cancer. An endometrial biopsy is sometimes done if you are having difficulty becoming pregnant.

How to Prepare for the Test?

There is no special preparation for the biopsy. You will want to take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1 hour before the procedure to reduce cramping.

How the Test Will Feel?

The instruments may feel cold. You may feel some pain when the cervix is grasped. You may have some cramping as the instruments enter the uterus and the sample is collected.

How is the Test Performed?

You will lie on your back with your feet in stirrups. The health care provider will do a pelvic examination, and will insert an instrument (speculum) into the vagina to hold it open and see the cervix.

The cervix is cleaned with an antiseptic liquid and then grasped with an instrument (tenaculum) to hold the uterus steady. A device called a cervical dilator may be needed to stretch the cervical canal if there is tightness (stenosis). Then a small, hollow plastic tube is gently passed into the uterine cavity. 

Gentle suction removes a sample of the lining. The tissue sample and instruments are removed. A specialist called a pathologist examines the sample under a microscope. An endometrial biopsy takes 5 to 15 minutes.

What could I expect after the procedure?

After the procedure, you may rest for a few minutes before going home. You may want to wear a sanitary pad for bleeding. It is normal to have some mild cramping and spotting or vaginal bleeding for a few days after the procedure. Take a pain reliever (Advil or Motrin) for soreness and cramping as recommended by your health care provider. Aspirin or certain other pain medications may increase the chance of bleeding. Be sure to take only recommended medications.

Do not have intercourse, use tampons, or douche until the spotting stops. You may also have other restrictions on your activity, including no strenuous activity or heavy lifting.

Written by Webmaster