The endometrium is a special tissue that forms the lining of the womb or the uterus. The technique used for removal of a piece of tissue from the uterine lining is called endometrial sampling or endometrial biopsy. We perform numerous such biopsies at Apollo Cradle Jubilee Hills on a regular basis. After removing the tissue, the sample is analyzed by our pathologist in the laboratory. The tissue examination helps with diagnosis of diseases as well.
Why would you need an endometrial/uterine biopsy?
One of our doctors may suggest an endometrial biopsy in case of:
- Bleeding after menopause
- Abnormal menstrual bleeding
- Lack of uterine bleeding
The result of the biopsy may indicate changes to cells related to hormonal levels. There might be abnormal tissues like polyps or fibroids as well. These can result in abnormal bleeding. Our healthcare professionals may also carry out an endometrial biopsy for checking any uterine infections like endometritis.
Endometrial biopsy is also carried out at Apollo Cradle Jubilee Hills to detect cancer or abnormal cells or to check hormone therapy effects. The most common form of cancer to the reproductive organs of females is endometrial cancer. The biopsy is no longer a recommended procedure to test and treat infertility.
Our doctors may also perform an endometrial biopsy for other reasons if they deem it to be necessary.
Preparing for the process
It is worth noting that there are chances of miscarriage if an endometrial biopsy is performed during pregnancy. Hence, it is extremely important that you inform your doctor about your pregnancy if you are carrying a child. You should even mention if there is a chance that you are pregnant although you are not sure of it. In that case, our doctors may advise you to take pregnancy tests before going through with the biopsy to make sure you are not pregnant.
You may also be advised to keep track of your menstrual cycles before the process. It is particularly necessary if the test has to be performed at a specific time during your menstrual cycle.
You should inform your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you are taking. Before the endometrial biopsy, it is recommended to stop taking blood thinners. Such medications interfere with the ability of the blood to properly clot. Our doctors may also ask if you are allergic to iodine or latex or if you have a bleed disorder of some kind.
The procedure itself tends to be a bit uncomfortable. Ibuprofen or another pain reliever might be recommended to take 30-60 minutes before the biopsy. You may also be given a light sedative before the process begins. The effects of the sedative make you feel drowsy, so you should wait until the effects have completely worn off before performing tasks like driving. See if you can get a family member or friend to drive you home after the biopsy.
The biopsy procedure
At Apollo Cradle Jubilee Hills, we have expert professionals and technicians to carry out the entire biopsy procedure in a smooth manner. You will be given a medical gown or robe to put on before the process. You will be taken to the exam room, where you will be required to lay on a table with your feet in stirrups.
The medical professionals will perform a quick pelvic exam and will also clean the cervix and vagina. A clamp may be put on the cervix to make sure it stays steady during the biopsy. The clamp might cause some discomfort or pressure.
Then, the doctor shall insert a pipelle, which is a flexible thin tube, through the cervix opening into the uterus. The tissue sample is collected from the uterine lining by moving the tube back and forth. Typically, this process takes only around 10 minutes.
Once the tissue sample is collected, it is put in fluid and sent for analysis to a laboratory. Results of the biopsy usually come within 7-10 days after the process.
After the process
You should rest for a few minutes after the biopsy is completed before going home. Have someone drive you home in case a sedative is used.
There might be some light bleeding or spotting from the procedure, so you will have to wear a menstruation pad. It is normal to experience mild cramps. Check with your doctor if you can take pain relievers for the cramps. Certain pain medications like aspirin can increase the risk of further bleeding, so make sure you check with the doctor. It is advisable not to have sexual intercourse or use tampons for several days after the process.
You might even have to limit certain activities like heavy lifting or activities that cause strain. You can resume or normal diet unless your doctor advises to otherwise.
You may be provided some extra instructions after the biopsy by our doctors, based on your previous medical history. You will be informed when you need to return for aftercare or further treatment.
Inform your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Too much or persistent bleeding even two days after the biopsy
- Severe pain in the lower belly area
- Foul smelling drainage from the vagina
- Chills or fever
What are the risks associated with the process?
Certain complications may arise from endometrial biopsy, including:
- Pelvic infection
- In some rare cases, the biopsy device causes puncture to the uterine walls
Inform your healthcare provider if you are sensitive to or allergic to specific medicines, latex or iodine. The biggest risk associated with the process is that of miscarriage, in case you are pregnant. So, be sure of that before the procedure.
Depending on your condition, there might be other risks as well. If you have any concern, do not hesitate to talk about it with our healthcare providers.
The following may cause interference with endometrial biopsy:
- Cervical cancer
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Cervical or vaginal infections
It is always better if your doctor has all the necessary information beforehand to minimize the risks of any complication arising during the process.
What is the meaning of the results?
It takes around a week or 10 days for the laboratory results to come back. In case there is abnormal bleeding, it may be caused by:
- The presence of fibroids or polyps, which are growths in the uterus
- A uterine infection such as endometritis
- A thyroid issue
- Endometrial cancer
Once your doctor receives the result from the test, he/she will discuss it with you. Depending on what is determined through the test, you might be recommended treatment and explained the need for undergoing the specific treatment.
There are chances of the results coming back inconclusive, which means the cause of the problem couldn’t be determined. Sometimes, the results cannot clearly specify if there are cancer cells present in your uterus or not. In that case, you might have to undergo dilation and curettage procedure for more detailed analysis. During this procedure, a larger tissue sample will be collected from your uterine lining for lab testing.
An endometrial biopsy may not be completely efficient. Since a random tissue sample is collected, cancerous or precancerous growths might be missed out on. In case your symptoms persist, consult with our doctors. We may recommend another test for getting more information.