Endometrial biopsy

What is an endometrial biopsy?
Endometrial biopsy is a screening test during which a sample of cells is removed from the lining of the uterus, which is called the endometrium. The cells are then sent to the lab to be examined under a microscope.

Why is an endometrial biopsy needed?
Endometrial biopsy is used to determine causes of abnormal uterine bleeding. It can also be used for the evaluation of certain Pap smear abnormalities.

What happens during the procedure?
You may be asked to take a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant. Your provider will place a speculum in your vagina, which is the same instrument that is used during a Pap smear. Your provider will look at your cervix and clean it with an antiseptic liquid. A cervical dilator may be used to open your cervix so a thin suction straw, or catheter, can be placed into your uterus. The straw will collect a small sample of cells, which will be sent to a lab to be evaluated. You may feel some cramping during the procedure.

What are the risks?

  • Mild to moderate cramping
    • Rarely, cramping will be severe and associated with a flushed, nauseous feeling that goes away after a few minutes. You can lie on the table until you feel well enough to get dressed.
  • Light vaginal bleeding after the procedure
  • A small risk of:
    • Infection
    • Injury to the uterus

What should I do to prepare for the procedure?

  • An endometrial biopsy can be done during your menstrual cycle, but it is better to have it done when you are not on your period.
  • If you are not allergic, you may take 800 milligrams of ibuprofen (4 regular-strength tablets of Advil or Motrin) or 1000 milligrams of acetaminophen (2 extra-strength tablets of Tylenol) 1 hour before the procedure.
  • For 24 hours before the procedure, you should avoid douching (which is generally not recommended at any time); otherwise there are no activity restrictions.

What should I expect during recovery?
You will be able to drive yourself home after this procedure. You may bring someone to drive you if you would like.

You may:

  • Resume normal activity after the procedure.
  • Have spotting for several days after the procedure; you can wear pads or tampons.
  • Feel sore for a few days. You can take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever if you are experiencing pain.

Call your provider if you experience:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding (soaking more than one pad per hour)
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Heavy vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal pain that is not relieved with an OTC pain reliever
  • Fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit

Office number: (404) 778-3401, Monday – Friday 8:00AM – 5:00PM

  • For emergencies after hours, calling this number will connect you to the operator, who will page the OBGYN physician on call.

If your pain becomes severe, or your fever rises above 102oF in the 3 days following the procedure you should go to the emergency room.

How long will it take to get my results?

It should take 1-2 weeks to get your results. You may receive your results one of three ways:

  • A phone call from your doctor or nurse
  • Through your secure Emory Healthcare portal
  • Through a letter in the mail

If you do not have your results after 2 weeks, please call the office at the number listed above.

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