Endometrial biopsy and ultrasound
Endometrial biopsy and ultrasound can both be used to investigate
the cause of abnormal bleeding.
An endometrial biopsy is a sample of tissue taken from the lining
of the uterus, known as the endometrium. The biopsy is usually carried
out as an out-patient procedure without an anaesthetic.
You will be asked to lie on your back with your legs apart. A
plastic or metal instrument called a speculum is inserted into the vagina
to hold the vaginal walls apart. A narrow plastic device is then passed
into the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus, where it is
used to remove a piece of tissue. This is then sent to the laboratory.
Endometrial biopsy is not usually painful. If you have not been
pregnant, however, your cervix might be tightly closed. If this is the
case, local anaesthetic can be used to numb the cervix, and a metal
instrument can be used to open it gently. Sometimes a general anaesthetic
You can get back to normal straight away after an endometrial
biopsy, but you may have spotting of blood for a few days afterwards.
Laboratory results should be with your doctor in about a week.
With ultrasound, a probe is gently placed in the vagina, and
the image of the uterus is seen on a screen. Scan results are available
immediately, but you may have to wait for your doctor to interpret them
and inform you.