Gynecology Services - Endometrial Biopsy
An endometrial biopsy refers to a medical procedure where a small piece of tissue from the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, is removed for microscopic examination. This diagnostic test is typically performed to investigate abnormalities in the menstrual cycle, unexplained bleeding, or to check for uterine infections or cancer.
Preparation for an endometrial biopsy begins with a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider. It’s crucial to communicate all medications you’re currently taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, is often recommended one hour before the procedure to help alleviate potential discomfort. Additionally, a medication may be prescribed to help prepare the cervix—misoprostol is commonly used for this purpose. This medication helps soften and dilate the cervix to make the procedure easier. Remember to follow the instructions given by your healthcare provider and ask any questions you might have regarding the procedure.
During an endometrial biopsy, the patient can expect to be positioned similarly as for a Pap smear, with feet placed in stirrups. The medical provider will insert a speculum into the vagina to hold it open and visualize the cervix. A thin, flexible tube is then inserted through the cervix into the uterus to extract a small tissue sample from the endometrium. The procedure usually takes around 10 minutes. Some women may experience mild discomfort akin to menstrual cramps during the procedure, while others might feel more intense pain.
After an endometrial biopsy, it’s common to experience some light spotting or bleeding for a few days. Mild pain or discomfort might also be felt. Over-the-counter pain relief such as ibuprofen can be used to alleviate this. Your provider will give you post-procedure instructions following the biopsy.
The tissue sample taken during the biopsy is sent to a lab where it is examined under a microscope by a pathologist. Results are typically available within one to two weeks. You will be notified of these results and any suggested next steps if required. It’s important to remember that an endometrial biopsy is a diagnostic test, and further treatment will depend on the diagnosis. If you have any questions or concerns following the procedure, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider.