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to view an animated version of this procedure.
This is a procedure to remove a tissue sample from the lining of the uterus (womb).
An endometrial biopsy may be done to:
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.
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.
A speculum will be used 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. A small sample of endometrial tissue will be suctioned out.
After the biopsy, you may feel lightheaded. Lying down for 5-10 minutes will help. When you feel better, you will be able to go home.
About 10-15 minutes
You may feel some cramping and pressure during the biopsy. Your doctor may give you pain medication after the procedure.
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.
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Cancer Society
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Women's Health Matters
Abnormal uterine bleeding. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:
http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/abnormal-uterine-bleeding.html. Updated February 2014. Accessed October 30, 2014.
Endometrial cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at:
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/endometrialcancer/index. Accessed October 30, 2014.
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Last reviewed October 2014 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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