Why do we do endometrial biopsies?
Your doctor may refer you because you are having irregular vaginal bleeding or bleeding after menopause. We check for abnormalities in the endometrial lining of the uterus such as hyperplasia or cancer.
What happens during the procedure?
Before the procedure, we suggest medication like ibuprofen for pain. If you want something stronger, such as codeine or oxycodone, you will need to have someone accompany you. If you are feeling nervous you may also have a sedative like lorazepam.
The doctor will do a pelvic examination and an ultrasound to measure the thickness of your uterine lining. Some freezing (local anesthetic) will be used to reduce the discomfort. The actual biopsy takes less than one minute and most women just feel an unpleasant cramping feeling like menstrual cramps. A small plastic tube (3 mm) goes inside the uterus and a sample is taken using suction from a syringe.
What about the results?
The sample is sent to a lab and we get results about 10 days later. You can make an appointment two weeks after the procedure with your family doctor to get the results. Most of the time irregular bleeding does not come from cancer but from hormone changes and your doctor will help you with this. If the result is endometrial cancer, surgery almost always is successful in curing it.
Are there any costs?
No, not if you have BC Medical Insurance.
MEDICAL DIRECTOR: DR ELLEN WIEBE