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Endometrial Biopsy

  •  Endometrial biopsy is a safe and effective method for evaluating the tissue lining the inside of the uterus (or womb).

  • A plastic catheter is inserted into the uterus, and a small amount of the endometrial lining is suctioned into the catheter.  

Why is an endometrial biopsy performed?

Endometrial biopsy is performed to evaluate the uterus lining for the presence of cancer or precancerous cells. Most women who have this procedure done have abnormal uterine bleeding.

Is endometrial biopsy painful?

It can be uncomfortable. The placement of the thin plastic catheter inside the uterus can produce cramping. The entire procedure takes just a few minutes, and most women tolerate the procedure well.

What complications may develop after an endometrial biopsy?

You may experience vaginal bleeding for a few days following the procedure. Some women may develop an infection in the uterus or fallopian tubes any time an instrument is placed into the uterus, but this is rare following endometrial biopsy.  

What happens to the sample that is removed from the lining of my uterus?

The sample is sent to the lab for examination by a pathologist. The cells from the tissue are examined under the microscope, and the pathologist can determine if cancerous or precancerous cells are present.  

Following Endometrial Biopsy

  1. If you have any discomfort after the procedure, you may take ibuprofen, three 200-mg tablets three times a day with food. Acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol) can also be taken but is not as effective in reducing uterine cramping.

  2. You may drive home following the procedure unless additional medications have to be given in the office to complete your procedure.

  3. Some vaginal bleeding or spotting is common following the procedure. If you experience heavy bleeding, please call your doctor.

  4. Infection following the procedure is uncommon but report any complaints that would suggest an infection, such as pain in the lower abdomen or vagina, or a foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic for a few days following the procedure to prevent infection.

  5. Please do not place anything in your vagina and avoid sex (intercourse) for one week following the procedure.

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