Endometrial Biopsy (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is an endometrial biopsy?
- Why is endometrial biopsy done?
- How is an endometrial biopsy performed?
- What are the risks of endometrial biopsy?
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
How is an endometrial biopsy performed?
Endometrial biopsy is most often done in the physician's office, but it can be performed on women in the hospital. The patient lies on the examining table in a position similar to that used for obtaining Pap smears. The doctor uses a speculum to open the vaginal canal and visualize the cervix, the opening to the uterus. During endometrial biopsy the doctor inserts a thin plastic or metal tubular device through the cervix into the uterus to remove a tiny piece of the inner lining tissue.
Usually no anesthesia is required, but taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) 30 to 60 minutes prior to the procedure can help reduce cramping and pain. In some cases, a small amount of lidocaine anesthetic is inserted into the uterine cavity to minimize discomfort.
What are the risks of endometrial biopsy?
There are very few risks with endometrial biopsy. The leading risk is pain or cramping, but this typically subsides rapidly following the procedure. Other less common risks are feeling faint or light-headed, possible infection, bleeding, and rarely, perforation of the uterus.
Medically reviewed by Steven Nelson, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology
"Endometrial sampling procedures"
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.