by Editorial Staff and Contributors
Click here to view an animated version of this procedure.
This is a procedure to remove a tissue sample from the lining of the uterus (womb).
Reasons for Procedure TOP
Some reasons for an endometrial biopsy include:
Possible Complications TOP
If you are planning to have an endometrial biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure. If you are pregnant, the test cannot be done.
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
You may need to schedule the biopsy for a certain time during your menstrual cycle.
Your doctor may do the following:
Leading up to your procedure, you may be advised to:
Usually none is needed. Sometimes local anesthesia is used to numb the cervix.
Description of the Procedure TOP
You will lie on a table with your feet in footrests. The doctor will use a speculum to look into the vagina. An instrument called a tenaculum will be used to grasp the cervix. A flexible, thin, suction tube will be passed through the vagina and into the uterus. The doctor will suction out a small sample of endometrial tissue.
Immediately After Procedure TOP
After the biopsy, you may feel lightheaded. Lying down for 5-10 minutes will help. Once you feel better, you will be able to go home.
How Long Will It Take? TOP
About 10-15 minutes
Will It Hurt? TOP
You may feel some cramping and pressure during the biopsy. Your doctor may give you pain medicine after the procedure.
Post-procedure Care TOP
When you return home after the procedure, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Your doctor will receive results in about a week. She will work with you to create a treatment plan.
Call Your Doctor TOP
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Cancer Society
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Women's Health Matters
Abnormal uterine bleeding. Family Doctor.org. Available at: http://familydocto... . Updated September 2006. Accessed June 4, 2008.
How is endometrial cancer diagnosed? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org . Updated November 2006. Accessed June 4, 2008.
6/2/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med . 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
Last reviewed December 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Last Updated: 01/15/2014