During the course of a menstrual cycle, a woman's body undergoes certain transformations. One such change takes place in the uterus, with the uterus lining changing through the cycle. The lining grows thicker as the cycle begins and continues till ovulation. If the egg (isn't fertilized) and passed out of the system, the lining too is shed during the course of the cycle.
Sometimes, the lining of the uterus can be offset. Even if this is just by a fraction, it can upset normal menstrual cycle and affect the body negatively. This may be caused by the presence of irregular cells present, or due to illness. In such situations an endometrial biopsy is ordered.
An endometrial biopsy is a medical procedure wherein doctors extract a small tissue sample from endometrial lining of the uterus. This endometrial sampling is then sent to the lab to test for abnormal properties, cancerous cell growth, etc.
An endometrial biopsy helps doctors check for endometrial hyperplasia or irregular growth along the uterus lining; check for causes of infertility; check for cancerous cells; investigate irregular uterine bleeding; monitor the menstrual cycle, checking for regularity and irregularities.
There are several endometrial biopsy methods. Doctors may opt for a pipelle endometrial biopsy, wherein a hollow tube is used to suction a small sample of lining from the uterus; they may opt for a curette, scraping a sample of the lining and suctioning it out; they use an electronic suction device; or a jet irrigation method.
The procedure and its results, be it an endometrial hyperplasia biopsy or an endometrial cancer biopsy, allow doctors to access the patient's condition, the severity of the condition and chart an appropriate treatment plan.
The procedure is undertaken just before the start of the menstruation cycle. The patient is asked to lie down with feet placed in stirrups. The patient's cervix is then cleaned with an antiseptic and it is held open using specialized medical equipment. This is done to keep the uterus steady for sample extraction. The medical professional will then pass a small catheter through the uterine cavity to collect a sample of the lining. Once the sample is collected the tube is extracted.
This sample is then sent to the lab for testing. Results can be expected within a week. After the procedure, the patient may experience bleeding and cramping. The procedure may also lead to the onset of the menstrual cycle.