An endometrial biopsy is a procedure performed to obtain a small tissue sample from the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. After the biopsy, the endometrial tissue is examined under a microscope to identify the presence of abnormal cells or the effects of hormones on the endometrium.
An endometrial biopsy may be performed for several reasons:
- The evaluation and treatment of infertility, which is the the inability to conceive. A biopsy of endometrial cells several days before menstruation can show the endometrial response to the hormones estrogen and progesterone and can determine if ovulation has occurred.
- An endometrial biopsy may be recommended for women with abnormal menstrual bleeding, bleeding after menopause, or absence of uterine bleeding. Biopsy results may indicate cell changes related to hormone levels, or the presence of abnormal tissues such as fibroids or polyps, which can lead to abnormal bleeding.
- An endometrial biopsy may also be used to check the effects of hormone replacement therapy or to detect the presence of abnormal cells or cancer. Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs.
If you have been told you need an endometrial biopsy, call us. Our staff is well-trained and experienced in endometrial biopsies, and we’re here to help.
Endometrial Ablation Frequently Asked Questions
What is endometrial ablation? Endometrial ablation destroys a thin layer of the lining of the uterus. Menstrual bleeding does not stop but is reduced to normal or lighter levels. If ablation does not control heavy bleeding, further treatment or surgery may be needed.
Why is endometrial ablation done?
- The lining of the uterus—the endometrium—is shed by bleeding each month during menstruation. Some women have heavy bleeding or bleeding that lasts longer than normal.
- Endometrial ablation is used to treat many causes of heavy bleeding. In most cases, women with heavy bleeding are treated first with medication. If heavy bleeding cannot be controlled with medication, endometrial ablation may be used.
- Endometrial ablation does not involve removal of the uterus and it does not affect a woman’s hormone levels.
Who should not have endometrial ablation? Endometrial ablation should not be done in women past menopause. It is not recommended for women with certain medical conditions, including:
- disorders of the uterus or endometrium
- endometrial hyperplasia
- cancer of the uterus
- recent pregnancy
- current or recent infection of the uterus
Can I still get pregnant after having endometrial ablation? Pregnancy is not likely after ablation, but it can happen. If it does, the risks of miscarriage and other problems are greatly increased. If a woman still wants to get pregnant, she should not have this procedure.
Women who have endometrial ablation should use birth control until after menopause. Sterilization may be a good option to prevent pregnancy after ablation.
A woman who has had ablation still has all her reproductive organs. Routine cervical cancer screening and pelvic exams are still needed.
What happens before having endometrial ablation? The decision to have endometrial ablation should be made between you and your obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn). You should talk about the procedure’s risks and benefits.
A sample of the lining of the uterus is taken (endometrial biopsy) to make sure you do not have cancer. You also may have the following tests to check whether the uterus is the right size and shape for the procedure:
- Hysteroscopy—A device called a hysteroscope is used to view the inside of the uterus.
- Ultrasonography—Sound waves are used to view the pelvic organs.
If you have an intrauterine device (IUD), it must be removed. You cannot have endometrial ablation if you are pregnant.
Celebration Obstetrics & Gynecology
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