Abnormal results of an endometrial biopsy may indicate endometrial hyperplasia, uterine polyps, or endometrial precancer or cancer, reports WebMD. A doctor may need to conduct further tests if the uterine lining does not match the presumed stage of the menstrual cycle. Normal biopsy results indicate no presence of diseases and regular menstrual cycles.
Doctors usually perform endometrial biopsies on women who are over 35 years old, explains MedlinePlus. Doctors prescribe them to find the reason for irregular or heavy uterine bleeding during menstrual periods or after hormone therapy or menopause. They also use them to confirm ultrasound indications of endometrial hyperplasia or overgrowth of the uterine lining. An unusually thick endometrium may be an indication of endometrial cancer, states the American Cancer Society. An endometrial biopsy is an extremely accurate confirmation test, especially in postmenopausal women.
Pregnant women should not have endometrial biopsies, cautions WebMD. During the procedure, women may feel pain similar to menstrual cramps. Doctors may provide anesthesia, apply numbing medication to the cervix or allow the patient to take pain medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, prior to the procedure, points out MedlinePlus. Side effects may include a few days of cramping or spotting. Less frequent risks are tearing of the cervix, perforation of the uterus, infections and prolonged bleeding.