Endometrial Biopsy

A diagnostic procedure that involves removal of tissue from the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus.

REASONS FOR PROCEDURE

Investigation of fertility who has been made unable to become pregnant; investigation of bleeding between menstrual periods or postmenopausal bleeding. Laboratory examination of the removed tissue aids in diagnosis. If appropriate, the procedure is performed during the last 2 weeks of the patient’s menstrual cycle. This is the best time to identify possible hormonal problems and to determine if ovulation is occurring.

DESCRIPTION OF PROCEDURE

  • Usually performed in the doctor’s office with little or no anesthesia necessary.
  • A speculum is inserted into the vagina to bring the cervix into view. In some cases, it is necessary to use a tenaculum (a hoop-like instrument that holds helps stabilize the cervix).
  • A small, spoon-shaped instrument (or other biopsy instrument) is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. It is gently scraped against the inner lining of the uterus to gather tissue. An alternate method involves obtaining the tissue sample with a suction instrument.
  • The instruments are removed. The surgery may cause slight pain, but is should be minor and temporary.

EXPECTED OUTCOME

  • Tissue obtained successfully without complications in virtually all cases. Allow about 1 week for recovery from surgery. During this time, you should expect vaginal discharge.
  • Laboratory testing on the tissue can confirm ovulation has occurred and may identity other causes of infertility, such as infection.
  • Laboratory examination will generally determine if there are any abnormal cells found in the uterine lining.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Surgical-wound infection.
  • Inadvertent injury to the uterus (rare).

POSTPROCEDURE CARE

  • Bathe or shower as usual. Use non-perfumed soap.
  • Wear sanitary pads for the rest of this menstrual period. Avoid tampons temporarily; they may lead infection. Your menstrual flow may be heavier than usual.
  • Wear cotton underpants and pantyhose with a cotton crotch. Avoid underwear made from nylon, polyester, silk or other non-ventilating materials.
  • Don’t douche unless it is prescribed for you.