biopsy is a way for your doctor to take a small sample
of the lining of the uterus (endometrium ). The sample is looked at
under a microscope for abnormal cells. An endometrial biopsy helps your doctor
find problems in the endometrium. It also lets your doctor check to see if
your body's hormone levels that affect the endometrium are in balance.
The lining of the uterus changes throughout a woman's
menstrual cycle. Early in the menstrual cycle, the
lining grows thicker until a mature egg is released from an ovary (ovulation ). If the egg is
not fertilized by a sperm, the lining is shed during normal menstrual
There are several ways to do an endometrial biopsy. Your doctor may
- A soft, strawlike device (pipette) to suction
a small sample of lining from the uterus. This method is fast and is not very
- A sharp-edged tool called a curette. Your doctor will
scrape a small sample and collect it with a syringe or suction. This is called
dilation and curettage (D&C). A D&C may be
done to control heavy uterine bleeding (hemorrhage) or to help find the cause
of bleeding. This is done with
general or regional anesthesia.
electronic suction device (Vabra aspiration). This method can be uncomfortable.
- A spray of liquid (jet irrigation) to wash off some of the tissue
that lines the uterus. A brush may be used to remove some of the lining before
the washing is done.
When a woman is having a hard time getting pregnant, an
endometrial biopsy may be done to see whether the lining of her uterus can
support a pregnancy.
An endometrial biopsy may also be done to find the cause of
abnormal uterine bleeding, to check for overgrowth of the lining (endometrial
hyperplasia), or to check for cancer.
An endometrial biopsy is sometimes done at the same time as another
hysteroscopy, which allows your doctor to look through
a small lighted tube at the lining of the uterus.
Why It Is Done
An endometrial biopsy is done to:
- Check for cancer of the uterus. For example, an endometrial
biopsy may be done to help determine the cause of some abnormal
Pap test results.
- Find the cause of heavy, prolonged, or irregular uterine
bleeding. It is often done to find the cause of uterine bleeding in women who
have gone through
- See whether the lining of the
uterus (endometrium) is going through the normal menstrual
How To Prepare
Tell your doctor if you:
- Are or might be pregnant. An endometrial biopsy
is not done during pregnancy.
- Are taking any
- Are allergic to any medicines.
- Have had
bleeding problems or take blood-thinners, such as aspirin or warfarin
- Have been treated for a vaginal, cervical, or pelvic
- Have any heart or lung problems.