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Before You Have an Endometrial Biopsy: Everything You Need to Know


Updated June 17, 2014

During an endometrial biopsy, a sample of the endometrium, the lining of tissue in the uterus, is taken. After menses, the uterine lining is thin. As the ovaries prepare for ovulation, estrogen levels increase, which begins to thicken the endometrium. After ovulation occurs, the endometrium enters the luteal or secretory phase, which means that the lining has undergone a series of changes which will prepare it for a possible pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, it will be shed during menstruation.

What Does an Endometrial Biopsy Look For?

During the procedure, which occurs a few days before menses, a small amount of endometrial tissue is removed and examined under a microscope. While, occasionally, this is useful to evaluate whether ovulation has occurred, an endometrial biopsy is most often done to rule out endometrial hyperplasia or cancer.

How is it Performed?

This procedure may be done in your doctors office, as it is fairly simple. A speculum is inserted into the vagina so the cervix can be visualized. After the cervix is cleaned, a small instrument is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. Samples of endometrial tissue are taken from various locations within the uterus and placed in a special solution for examination.

Will it Hurt?

You can expect some mild cramping or discomfort during the procedure.

What Can I Expect Afterwards?

A small amount of bleeding afterwards is normal, however, notify your physician if bleeding becomes heavy (soaking through more then one pad an hour) or if you begin feeling faint or dizzy. Make sure to tell your doctor if you notice a rise in your temperature, as this could be a sign of infection. Avoid intercourse or douching for at least 72 hours.
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