What is an Endometrial Biopsy?
An endometrial biopsy is a diagnostic test to check for abnormalities within the uterus. The procedure involves removal of a small piece of tissue from the uterine lining, known as the endometrium, for laboratory analysis.
Indications for Endometrial Biopsy
Endometrial biopsy is performed to detect:
- Endometrial cancer
- Post-menopausal bleeding
- Response to hormone therapy
- Heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding
Endometrial Biopsy Procedure
The procedure may or may not be performed under anesthesia and takes about 10 minutes to complete. During the procedure, an instrument called a speculum is inserted into the vagina to keep the canal open so that the cervix is easily visible. The cervix is then cleaned. Another instrument may be used to hold the cervix steady. If there is tightness in the cervical opening it is stretched gently with another instrument. Your doctor removes the cervical tissue with an instrument and sends it to the laboratory for microscopic examination.
After Endometrial Biopsy Procedure
Following the procedure, you may experience mild cramping, spotting or bleeding for a few days. You may need to wear a sanitary pad for a few days. As advised by your doctor, avoid sexual intercourse and do not douche or use tampons for the first few days. Avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting. Contact your doctor immediately if you observe the following symptoms after the procedure:
- Severe lower abdominal pain
- Excessive bleeding
- Foul-smelling discharge from your vagina
Risks of Endometrial Biopsy Procedure
Like all invasive procedures, an endometrial biopsy may be associated with certain risks such as bleeding, infection, mild spotting or cramping and uterus perforation or tear of the cervix (occurs rarely).