Q:

Is an endometrial biopsy painful?

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Quick Answer

An endometrial biopsy does cause some pain or discomfort, but not enough for anesthesia to be a consideration. Doctors often recommend that the patient ingest a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID) between a half hour and an hour before the procedure to limit pain and cramping, according to MedicineNet.com.

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Full Answer

During an endometrial biopsy, the physician opens the vaginal canal with a speculum to gain visual access to the cervix, which is the opening into the uterus. The physician then slides a slender metal or plastic tubular device through the cervix to take off a small piece of the tissue lining the inside of the uterus, as stated by MedicineNet.com.

The purpose of an endometrial biopsy is to identify the cause behind anomalous bleeding from the uterus. Other uses include identifying causes for infertility, to test for infections in the uterus and to check for reactions to specific medications. Biopsy is less invasive than dilettation and curettage (D&C), which requires removal of more of the uterine lining as well as a stretching of the cervical opening. The D&C process requires hospitalization and anesthesia. However, endometrial biopsy is not possible during pregnancy, cervical cancer or stenosis (narrowing) of the opening to the cervix, notes MedicineNet.com.

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