If you’re experiencing abnormal menstrual periods or are bleeding after menopause, your doctor may recommend a test called an endometrial biopsy.
Performed here at Women’s Health, this test takes only a few minutes. It involves removing small tissue samples from the lining of your uterus (the endometrium) which are then examined under a microscope in a lab.
What the Test Involves
- You’ll lie back on an exam table with your feet in the footrests
- Your doctor will gently insert a speculum into the vagina to hold it open in order to view your cervix
- The cervix is cleaned with a special liquid and numbing medication may be applied
- An instrument may be used to grasp the cervix in order to hold the uterus steady; another instrument may be needed to gently stretch the cervical opening if it’s tight
- An instrument is gently passed through the cervical opening into the uterus to collect the tissue samples
- The tissue is then sent to a lab for examination under a microscope
What the Test Will Feel Like
You may feel some discomfort when the cervix is grasped and may have some cramping as the instrument enters the uterus to obtain the tissue samples.
How to Prepare for the Procedure
- Do not douche or use vaginal medications for 48 hours before your procedure
- You may wish to take ibuprofen (600 mg) 30 – 45 minutes before your appointment to help minimize discomfort during your procedure
What to Expect After the Procedure
- You may experience mild cramping and light bleeding or spotting
Why an Endometrial Biopsy is Performed
Most commonly performed in women over age 35, this test is performed to help determine the cause of:
- Abnormally heavy, long or irregular periods (often due to uterine fibroids or polyps)
- Bleeding after menopause
- A thickened uterine lining revealed by ultrasound
- Bleeding that results from taking hormone therapy
Please visit our page on Evaluation of Abnormal Bleeding for more information.
Questions about Endometrial Biopsy?
The physicians and nurses at Women’s Health are here to provide answers. Simply contact us if you have any questions.