Click here to view an animated version of this procedure.

*
The Endometrium  
nucleus factsheet image

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Definition  

This is a procedure to remove a tissue sample from the lining of the uterus (womb).

*

Reasons for Procedure  

Some reasons for an endometrial biopsy include:

  • Evaluate the cause of bleeding in postmenopausal women
  • Evaluate heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Obtain a tissue sample to test for cancer or precancerous conditions
  • Monitor the uterine lining in women on estrogen replacement therapy
  • Help evaluate the cause of infertility or repeated miscarriages
*

Possible Complications  

If you are planning to have an endometrial biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to the uterus (rare)

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.

*

What to Expect  

Prior to Procedure  

You may need to schedule the biopsy for a certain time during your menstrual cycle.

Your doctor may do the following:

  • Physical and pelvic exam
  • Blood tests
  • Urine test

Leading up to your procedure, you may be advised to:

  • Take a pain reliever one hour before the procedure.
  • Wear or bring a sanitary pad to the health clinic.

Anesthesia  

Usually none is needed. Sometimes local anesthesia is used to numb the cervix.

Description of the Procedure  

You will lie on a table with your feet in footrests. The doctor will use a speculum 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