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Endometrial Biopsy

How to Say It: En-doh-mee-tree-al Buy-op-see

What Is the Endometrium?

It is the tissue that lines the inside the uterus (womb). During a period (menstruation), it goes through changes to get ready for a fertilized egg. If an egg does not implant, much of the tissue is shed during the period. The cycle will start again.

Reason for the Test

The test will be done if health problems and a pelvic exam point to uterine cancer.

This test may also be done to check for:

Type of Sample Taken

Cells will be taken from the lining of your womb.

Prior to Collecting the Sample

  • You may need to have this done at a specific time of your cycle.
  • Take an over the counter pain medicine if your doctor says it will help.
  • Wear or bring a sanitary pad to the doctor's office.

During the Sample Collection

You may be given medicine to relax you.

You will lie on a table with your feet in stirrups. A speculum will help to open the vagina. Your cervix may be numbed. A tenaculum is used to grasp the cervix. A tool is passed through the cervix into the womb to collect the cells. The tool your doctor will use depends on which one will gather the cells best. The biopsy will take 10 to 15 minutes.

After Collecting the Sample

You may have cramps. You may also feel light-headed. You will need to lie still for 5 to 10 minutes until this feeling is gone.

You may leave the office after the biopsy is done. You will have some cramping and bleeding. Use sanitary pads. Do not use tampons. Do not have sex until your doctor says it is safe to do so.

Call the doctor if you are not feeling better or you have:

  • Belly pain
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Leaking that smells bad
  • Fever

Results

It will take about a week for you to get your results.

The test is normal when the sample shows only normal cells.

The test is abnormal when it finds precancerous or cancer cells, growths, an overgrown lining in your womb, or a lining that does not match the menstrual stage you are in. An inconclusive result may happen if you have a vaginal or cervical infection, or not enough cells were tested. You may need another test to confirm the results.

Talk to your doctor about your test results. A test may point to an illness that you do not have. It can also miss an illness that you may have. The doctor will check your symptoms and all test results before making a diagnosis.

REFERENCES:

Abnormal uterine bleeding. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/abnormal-uterine-bleeding. Accessed May 19, 2021.

Malignant mixed mullerian tumor of the endometrium. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/malignant-mixed-mullerian-tumor-of-endometrium. Accessed May 19, 2021.

Uterine leiomyoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/uterine-leiomyoma . Accessed May 19, 2021.

Uterine neoplasms: endometrial cancer. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Accessed May 19, 2021.

Last reviewed March 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 11/9/2021