What is an endometrial biopsy?
An endometrial biopsy is a simple procedure done in the office to help diagnose the cause of your heavy and/or irregular vaginal bleeding. This is done by taking a sample of the lining of your uterus. The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium.
When is it used?
Examples of reasons of reasons for doing this procedure are:
- The uterus is bleeding too much, at the wrong times, or not at all.
- You are having bleeding after menopause.
- You are having trouble getting pregnant.
- Your provider wants to check on the outcome of treatments you have had.
There are alternatives to this procedure and they are performed at the Surgery Center as an outpatient surgery:
- D&C (dilation and curettage, which means stretching the cervix and scraping the inside of the uterus for a tissue sample)
- Hysteroscopy (exam of the uterus using a thin telescope-like tube with a camera and a tool to remove part of the endometrium).
These procedures are done under general anesthesia which has risks involved with that, please ask Dr. Hardy or the Nurse Practitioner if you have any questions.
How do I prepare for an endometrial biopsy?
You may take a mild pain pill, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol, an hour before the biopsy.
What happens during the procedure?
You will lie down on the exam table just as you would with a regular pelvic exam. A speculum will be inserted into the vagina to allow Dr. Hardy or the Nurse Practitioner to visualize the cervix. We will then clean the cervix with an antiseptic. A tiny straw-like tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. The tube will be used to remove a sample of the inner layer of the uterine wall, which will be sent to the lab for tests. You may have mild cramps during the procedure.
What happens after the procedure?
You may leave in a few minutes after the procedure is completed. You may have some cramping and bleeding after the procedure. Mild pain medicine should help relieve any discomfort.
What are the benefits of this procedure?
- It is a simple office procedure that does not require any anesthesia.
- It helps the provider learn more about what is causing your symptoms and also in deciding which treatment will be best for you.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
- injury to the uterus or cervix(rare).
- infection of the uterus.
- excessive bleeding.
When should I call the office?
Call right away if:
- You are bleeding heavily from the uterus.
- You develop a fever over 100°F (37.8°C).
- You develop a lot of pain.