What is an Endometrial Biopsy?
Endometrial biopsy is a procedure used to remove a small tissue sample from the lining of your uterus, called the endometrium. The tissue is removed with mild suction from a tube that is inserted into your uterus through the cervix. The tissue sample is then examined under a microscope looking for abnormal cells. Your provider may have recommended a biopsy for irregular menstrual bleeding, bleeding after menopause, or not bleeding at all. An endometrial biopsy may be used to check for hormonal changes, infection, abnormal cells, or cancer.
What happens before the biopsy?
Your provider will explain the biopsy and give you a chance to ask questions. You will be asked to give permission called “informed consent before you have the biopsy. No special preparation is needed but you must tell your provider if you are pregnant or if there is a chance of being pregnant. Let your health care person know if you have any allergies or if you are taking medications. It is often advised to take ibuprofen if you are not allergic thirty minutes before your biopsy (or Tylenol if you are allergic to ibuprofen). Mild to moderate cramping is expected. Your provider may offer to numb the area using a small needle to inject medication into your cervix but most patients do well without numbing.
What Should I expect after biopsy?
You will rest after the procedure for a few minutes. A sanitary napkin will be provided. Mild cramping and possible spotting are normal after the biopsy. You may continue to take pain medication if cramping every 4-6 hours as recommended by your provider. Do not use tampons, vaginal washes or have intercourse for a few days. No heavy lifting or exercise for a few days. Notify your health care provider if you experience excessive bleeding, foul odor, fever or chills, or severe pain in your lower abdomen.
When will I know my results?
You will be notified by phone regarding your biopsy results as soon as they are received by your clinician. The management plan will be based on your biopsy results. Your health care clinician will discuss treatment options with you if the results are positive for abnormal tissue. Sometimes you may be sent to a specialist for further treatment and evaluation. Surgery is sometimes needed if the results are worrisome for pre-cancer or cancer.
What if I am afraid?
Many women are afraid of having a procedure done. The procedure will be performed privately in a comfortable exam room. Everything will be explained to you prior to having the biopsy. You may have medication that prevents you from feeling discomfort or slight pain. It is important to remember the biopsy will let your clinician know if there are pre-cancerous or possible cancerous cells inside your uterus. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns not answered by this website.