What is a uterine biopsy?
A uterine biopsy is a procedure that is done to obtain a sample of tissue from inside the uterus. The tissue that is collected will then be studied under a microscope to determine if there are any abnormalities present.
Why has my provider ordered a uterine biopsy?
There are several reasons that your doctor may have recommended that you have a uterine biopsy done.
- You are experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Thickened uterine lining
- You provider wants to check for the presence of abnormal cells or cancer.
There are other reasons that your doctor wants to do this procedure however these are the most common factors.
Preparing for a uterine biopsy:
The word biopsy can make many people nervous or uncomfortable because it is often associated with the precancer. The term biopsy is commonly used when evaluating patients for precancer however by definition the word biopsy is the removal and examination of tissue from the body with the purpose of reaching a diagnosis.
In anticipation for the procedure you can eat and drink as you normally would. In preparation for any pain or discomfort you can take an over the counter pain reliever such as Motrin, Advil or Aleve. We can also give you a prescription for vicodin before the procedure.
What to expect during the procedure:
A uterine biopsy is usually an outpatient procedure that can be done at the Chicago office of Northwestern Women’s Health Associates.
After an antiseptic preparation we use a thin catheter that goes through the cervix into the uterus to get a sample of tissue. It can cause discomfort or pain during the procedure but it typically only lasts for a minute.
The tissue that is collected is then sent to the lab for careful examination..
Uterine biopsy recovery:
After the uterine biopsy is complete the patient may experience mild cramping for a few hours. The patient will be advised not to douche, use tampons or have intercourse for seven days after the procedure. To be safe, heavy lifting and other strenuous activity should be avoided for a few days. Most patients can resume normal activity right after the procedure other than the things listed here.
As with any procedure there are risk factors. The most important thing is to know the warning signs. Contact your provider if you experience any of the following:
Foul smelling vaginal discharge
Cramping and pain that intensifies
Excessive vaginal bleeding
If you have any questions about the uterine biopsy procedure contact our Chicago office to get your questions answered. The providers at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates strive to make our patients feel as confident and comfortable with the care they receive as possible. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your health with one of our providers.