Endometrial Curettage Endometrial Biopsy

Overview & Description

An endometrial biopsy is a procedure in which the healthcare provider removes a small piece of tissue from the lining of the uterus.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

An endometrial biopsy may be done for the following reasons:

  • to check on the effectiveness of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)
  • to collect cells to culture for signs of infection
  • to identify the cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • to look for causes of infertility
  • to rule out the possibility of cancer of the uterus
  • How is the procedure performed?

    The woman lies on her back, with her knees up and her feet in stirrups. The healthcare provider places a speculum within the vagina. This device helps enlarge the opening of the vagina. Then, the provider uses a metal grasper, called a tenaculum. This device straightens the angle of the uterus. Next, the healthcare provider passes a small, plastic or metal tube into the uterus. The provider uses a mild vacuum to remove endometrial cells. The cell sample is sent to the lab for study.

    Preparation & Expectations

    What happens right after the procedure?

    Cramping usually passes within minutes of the procedure. If she sits up too quickly, a woman may feel lightheaded. Lying down for a few minutes after the procedure prevents this. The woman is then sent home.

    Home Care and Complications

    What happens later at home?

    A woman may go back to normal activity as soon as she gets home. Cramping may be treated with an over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. The woman should avoid sexual intercourse, douches, and tampons for two to three days.

    What are the potential complications after the procedure?

    Complications are rare but may include:

  • bleeding from the cervix
  • creation of an abnormal hole from a cut, tear, or puncture of the uterus
  • infection in the uterus
  • Article type: xmedgeneral