Endometrial Biopsy

What is an Endometrial Biopsy?

An endometrial biopsy is a diagnostic test to check for abnormalities within the uterus. The procedure involves removal of a small piece of tissue from the uterine lining, known as the endometrium, for laboratory analysis.

Indications for Endometrial Biopsy

  • Evaluate for endometrial cancer or precancer in patients with abnormal bleeding or certain Pap smear results
  • Evaluation of an abnormal ultrasound that shows an abnormality of the endometrium
  • Surveillance of patients who are at risk or have a history of endometrial cancer
  • Monitor response to treatment of endometrial precancer
  • Evaluate for inflammatory conditions of the uterus that may cause adverse pregnancy outcomes

Endometrial Biopsy Procedure

The procedure may or may not be performed under anesthesia and takes about 10 minutes to complete. During the procedure, an instrument called a speculum is inserted into the vagina to keep the canal open so that the cervix is easily visible. The cervix is than cleaned. Another instrument may be used to hold the cervix steady. If there is tightness in the cervical opening it is stretched gently with another instrument. Your doctor removes the endometrial tissue with an instrument and sends it to the laboratory for microscopic examination.

After Endometrial Biopsy Procedure

Following the procedure, you may experience mild cramping, spotting or bleeding for a few days. You may need to wear a sanitary pad for a few days.  Over the counter pain killers such as Advil and Tylenol may be used but be in touch if you have persistent or severe pain. As advised by your doctor, avoid sexual intercourse and do not douche or use tampons for the first few days. Avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting. Contact your doctor immediately if you observe the following symptoms after the procedure:

  • Fever
  • Severe lower abdominal pain
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Foul-smelling discharge from your vagina

Risks of Endometrial Biopsy Procedure

Like all invasive procedures, endometrial biopsy may be associated with certain risks such as bleeding, infection, mild spotting, pelvic cramping, puncture of the uterus, injury to the abdominopelvic organs or cervix (rare occurrence).

  • ACOG
  • AIUM
  • American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists
  • NYU langone Medical center
  • American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities
  • UpToDate