New York City Endometrial Biopsy
The uterus (womb) is lined by a special type of tissue known as the endometrium. Endometrial biopsy, or endometrial sampling, is a technique of removing a piece of tissue from the inner lining of the uterus.
This procedure is most often performed to help determine the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. It can also be done to help evaluate the cause of infertility, test for uterine infections, and even monitor the response to certain medications.
Endometrial biopsy has many advantages over the more complicated procedure known as dilation and curettage (D&C), which is a more extensive removal of the uterine lining that requires dilation (stretching) of the cervical opening with special instruments.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is an endometrial biopsy peformed?
You will need to take off your clothes below the waist. You will be given a covering to drape around your waist. You will then lie on your back on an examination table with your feet raised and supported by foot rests (stirrups).
Your doctor will insert a lubricated tool called a speculum into your vagina. The speculum gently spreads apart the vaginal walls so your doctor can see inside the vagina and the cervix. The cervix is washed with a special solution and may be grasped and held in place with a clamp called a tenaculum.
Your cervix may be numbed with a spray or injection of local anesthetic.
The tool to collect the sample is guided through the cervix into the uterus. The tool may be moved up and down to collect the sample. Most women have some cramping during the biopsy.
An endometrial biopsy takes 5 to 15 minutes.
What can I expect during the procedure?
You may feel a sharp cramp as the tool is guided through your cervix. You may feel more cramping when the biopsy sample is collected. Most women find that the cramping feels like a really bad menstrual cramp.
Some women feel dizzy and sick to their stomachs. This is called a vasovagal reaction. This feeling will go away after the biopsy.
An endometrial biopsy usually causes some vaginal bleeding. You can use a pad for the bleeding or spotting.
Are there any risks to the procedure?
There is a small chance that the cervix or uterus could be punctured during the biopsy. Bleeding or a pelvic infection is also possible.
Are there any after effects?
You may feel some soreness in your vagina for a day or two. Some vaginal bleeding or discharge is normal for up to a week after a biopsy. You can use a sanitary pad for the bleeding. Do not do strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for one day after your biopsy. Do not have sex, use tampons, or douche until the spotting stops.