An endometrial biopsy is a procedure to remove a small sample of the lining of the uterus (endometrium). An endometrial biopsy helps your physician evaluate whether the endometrium is going through its normal changes during the menstrual cycle and to determine whether precancerous conditions are present.

The most common technique uses a thin, pliable instrument to suction a small amount of endometrial tissue from the uterus. When a woman is having difficulty becoming pregnant and endometrial biopsy may be done to determine whether the lining of her uterus is being properly prepared by hormones (estrogen and progesterone) to support pregnancy. It may also be done to evaluate the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding , to check for excessive growth of the endometrium (endometrial hyperplasia), to help determine the cause of a Pap test showing glandular cell abnormalities, evaluate the cause if abnormally heavy, prolonged or irregular uterine bleeding,

Before the endometrial biopsy, do not use tampons, vaginal medications/spray or powders for at least 24 hours. You may want to take a pain reliever containing ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) 600-800 mg 30-45 minutes before having the biopsy. You will need to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the procedure and agree to have the test done.

During the procedure, the cervix may be numbed by using an anesthetic spray or an injection of local anesthetic. You will be asked to lie on your back with your feet supported by stirrups. The doctor will insert an instrument with curved blades (speculum) into your vagina, which will gently spread apart the vaginal walls so the doctor can see the cervix. After being swabbed with an antiseptic solution, the cervix may be grasped and held in place with a clamp called a tenaculum. The instrument used to collect the sample of the endometrium is guided through the cervix. After the sample is collected, the device is removed from the uterus and vagina, and the clamp and speculum are removed. Results are usually available in 7-10 days.

An endometrial biopsy usually causes some vaginal bleeding. You will need to use a menstrual pad for bleeding or spotting. Do not place anything into the vagina until advised by your doctor. Call your doctor if you have excessive vaginal bleeding (more than a period), severe abdominal pain, or fever greater than 100.4.