An endometrial biopsy is a procedure where a trained physician takes a tissue sample (biopsy) of your endometrium (the lining or inside surface of your uterus). The sample is then analyzed under a microscope to determine any abnormalities or traces of cancer.
There are no specific preparations to perform as a patient before the procedure, but you can take Advil or Tylenol an hour before to reduce the slight cramping you might feel during. Please do not take any aspirins as that might increase bleeding after the biopsy.
There are several reasons to perform such a test:
- Continued bleeding after menopause
- Your uterus’ lining has become thicker on the ultrasound
- Bleeding after the beginning of hormonal therapy
- Abnormalities during your menstruation (irregular or heavy bleeding)
- to evaluate any signs of cancer
- It can be used with other tests to determine a cause for infertility
The procedure is fairly similar no matter the hospital or setting it is performed. It can be done with or without anesthesia, depending on the patient’s history and on the physician’s technique.
You will then be asked to be installed in gynecological position (the same as when you have a pelvic exam). The doctor will examine your pelvis and use a speculum to hold open the vagina and see the cervix. The latter is then cleaned with a liquid and held by a tenaculum to make the uterus steady.
Afterwards, the physician will insert a thin, hollow tube that will use a slight suction to obtain a sample of your uterus’ lining. The tools are then removed and a pathologist will examine the sample later on in a laboratory.
Even though an endometrial biopsy is very safe and its technique has been perfected over the years, there are still risks involved which can be infections, bleeding that takes longer to stop, slight cramping even a few days after the procedure and making a hole in the uterus (rarely).