How is an endometrial biopsy done?

An endometrial biopsy is usually done in your doctor’s office. It is most often done without anesthesia. You will be placed with your feet in stirrups.

Your doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina to hold it open so that your cervix can be viewed (similar to a Pap test). Your cervix will then be cleaned with a special solution. Another instrument may be used to hold the cervix steady, while a very thin suction tube is inserted into the uterus to collect the tissue sample. The tissue will then be sent to a pathologist for analysis of the cells.

You will be advised not to use tampons, douche, or have intercourse in the days after your test. Some providers may also ask that you avoid swimming, going in a hot tub, or taking baths for about a week after the procedure. Your doctor will review the exact instructions with you after the procedure.

You may experience cramping similar to menstrual cramps during and after the procedure. You may be prescribed an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to deal with the pain.

The whole procedure will usually take between 5 and 15 minutes.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/03/2015.

References

  • Kuntz C. Endometrial biopsy. Can Fam Physician. Jan 2007; 53(1): 43–44.
  • American Cancer Society. How is endometrial cancer diagnosed? Accessed 1/6/2015.
  • American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Tamoxifen and uterine cancer Accessed 1/6/2015
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Practice Bulletins. Practice Bulletin 136: Management of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding Associated with Ovulatory Dysfunction. Obstet Gynecol. 2013; 122(1):176-185.

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