An endometrial biopsy is a way for your doctor to take a small sample of the lining of the uterus (endometrium camera.gif). The sample is looked at under a microscope for abnormal cells. An endometrial biopsy helps your doctor find problems in the endometrium. It also lets your doctor check to see if your body’s hormone levels that affect the endometrium are in balance.
There are several ways to do an endometrial biopsy. Your doctor may use:
A soft device shaped like a straw (pipette) to suction a small sample of lining from the uterus. This method is fast and may cause some cramping.
An electronic suction device (Vabra aspiration). This method can be uncomfortable.
A spray of liquid (jet irrigation) to wash off some of the tissue that lines the uterus. A brush may be used to remove some of the lining before the washing is done.
An endometrial biopsy may be done to find the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding, to check for overgrowth of the lining (endometrial hyperplasia), or to check for cancer.
When a woman is having a hard time getting pregnant, an endometrial biopsy may also be done to see whether the lining of her uterus can support a pregnancy.