What Is It?
Test of the endometrium, also called endometrial lining or uterine lining. The condition of the endometrium is crucial to implantation of a fertilized egg and to condition of resulting pregnancy. A sample of the lining is removed for closer examination.
Infertility or one-partner conception with:
- chronically abnormal or absent menstrual periods
- concern about luteal phase defect, or other situations in which endometrium may be out of sync with ovulation
- unexplained female infertility, with established functioning male fertility
- suspected uterine cancer
How It Works:
A small sample of the woman's uterine lining is removed and inspected under a microscope for any cell abnormalities or other indications of pathology. This procedures in some instances replaces the D&C (dilatation & curettage) which was formerly most often used to detect various endometrial conditions. Should be performed a few days prior to expected menstrual period.
Since biopsy requires tissue be thorougly examined by a pathologist, results will usually be delivered several days to weeks following the procedure via discussion between the physician and patient.
Typical Procedure Protocol:
- semen analysis of male partner
- determination with provider of type and amount of over-the-counter pain medication to be taken by patient the day of procedure, or to be used during procedure, if any
- pregnancy test is administered in most cases for reassurance; procedure will be cancelled in cases of detected pregnancy
- patient lies on exam table with feet in stirrups
- speculum, similar to that used in typical female exam, is inserted into vagina
- soft, thin tube inserted into cervical opening; a tenaculum (surgical instrument) may be used to assist in holding the cervix open
- a mild vacuum is used to remove endometrial cells through the tube
- instruments are removed and patient remains on table for several minutes recovery period
- patient reports back to her physician when her menstrual period starts
Average Costs, excluding pre-procedure office appointments
Expected physical effects
- Mild discomfort during insertion of tube into cervical opening
- Mild to moderate menstrual-like cramping which generally passes quickly once procedure is finished
- Slight vaginal bleeding for remainder of day of procedure
Physical effects to report to your doctor after procedure
- Pelvic or abdominal cramping that continues for more than 24 hours past procedure, or that is so severe as to restrict all activities of daily life
- Foul smelling vaginal discharge
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Slight risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) resulting from bacteria introduced into body through procedure itself
- Very uncommon risk of uterine perforation
© Tracy Morris