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Procedure: Endometrial Biopsy

Description and Purpose

An endometrial, or uterine biopsy , is where a sample of endometrial tissue is removed for examination by a pathologist and is undertaken for the following reasons:

  • To diagnose the cause of vaginal bleeding, especially in women over 35 who have a family history of endometrial cancer.
  • To help determine the cause of infertility. The endometrial lining provides information about ovulation and hormone activity, which can be useful in determining the cause of infertility .
  • To check for any cancerous or precancerous changes in women who are taking oestrogen replacement therapy without progesterone .

Preparation and Procedure

A local anaesthetic or a mild painkiller is usually given before the procedure and a local anaesthetic will then be injected into the cervix . A catheter is inserted into the uterus . The other end of the tube is attached to a vacuum. Suction is then used to remove a sample of endometrial tissue. The sample is then analysed for any cancerous or precancerous changes and possibly tested for the presence of hormones.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. The Yale University School of Medicine Patient's Guide to Medical Tests, Barry L. Zaret M.D., Senior Editor, published by Houghton Mifflin. Online: common_procedures/doppler_ultrasound.html

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Contact Last modified: Oct 20 2004