What to expect from an endometrial biopsy: A patient guide
An endometrial biopsy is a procedure to collect a sample of the uterine lining, or the endometrium. During this procedure, one of our Las Vegas fertility specialists will perform a speculum exam to visualize the cervix. He or she will clean the cervix with iodine to decrease the chance of infection. A small plastic catheter is passed through the cervix and into the uterus.
The doctor will then use a small amount of suction to extract portions of endometrial tissue for evaluation by a pathologist under a microscope. After obtaining adequate tissue, the speculum is removed. You may go home shortly after the biopsy.
If you are scheduled for an endometrial biopsy, it is important to make sure that you are not pregnant. This means scheduling the procedure during the first half of your menstrual cycle, before ovulation, and often includes taking a pregnancy test before the procedure.
What is the purpose of an endometrial biopsy?
The goal of an endometrial biopsy is to gather more information about the uterine lining to determine whether there are any factors that could contribute to infertility. In some cases, this tissue can be prone to chronic low-grade infections, gland overgrowth resulting in polyps or even endometrial cancer.
Your doctor may wish to sample your uterine lining to rule out any of the above problems. This is especially true if you have had patterns of abnormal bleeding, thickening of the endometrium noted on your gynecological ultrasound or repeated failed attempts at embryo implantation.
Who will perform my endometrial biopsy?
A medical assistant will get you set up in the room and review consent forms with you. One of our Las Vegas fertility specialists will perform the exam and procedure.
Are there any side effects associated with this procedure?
You may experience some cramping with this biopsy as your doctor passes the catheter through the top of the cervix and into the uterus. The cramping usually subsides shortly after the catheter and speculum are removed.
What can I do to increase my comfort at this visit?
If you are able, we recommend taking 800 milligrams of ibuprofen 30-60 minutes before your endometrial biopsy to minimize cramping during the exam. Heat packs can also ease cramping.
What will FCLV do to increase my comfort?
We will talk you through the procedure so that you know what to expect. Our team will also make sure that you are feeling well before standing up and getting dressed.
What are the next steps?
After your endometrial biopsy, you may have some vaginal spotting that should get lighter and stop within one to two days. Additionally, the iodine used to clean the cervix can leave a brown discharge, so you will want to wear a pad for the remainder of the day.
The results of the biopsy can take one to two weeks to return. You will typically schedule a follow-up consultation to review these and other results.
To learn more about what to expect during an endometrial biopsy with our Las Vegas fertility specialists, contact us.