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Endometrial biopsy

Te whakamātau kikokiko kōpū

An endometrial biopsy is a short procedure to check the lining of your uterus for abnormal cells.

How does it work?

A biopsy is taken from your uterus so a sample of tissue can be sent to the laboratory.

What will happen at the consultation?

The nurse practitioner or doctor will initially do an examination to check the position of your uterus. They will do this by placing two fingers into your vagina and the other hand on your lower abdomen. Then a speculum will be inserted into your vagina. This is the same as having a cervical smear test.

A thin, flexible, hollow tube called a pipelle will be used to take the biopsy. This is slipped through your cervix into your uterus and a sample taken with gentle suction. The sample will be sent to the laboratory and results will be available about a week later.

Sometimes an instrument will be placed on your cervix to steady the uterus and the inside of your uterus will be measured.

Will the biopsy hurt?

It is common to feel strong period-like cramps but this usually settles quite quickly once the procedure is finished.

You should not have this procedure done if:

  • There is any risk you may be pregnant/hapū .
  • You have heart disease, a blood disorder or you are taking any blood thinning medication.
  • You have a fever, pelvic pain or discharge.

How much does it cost?

In addition to our normal fees for your consultation you will pay an extra cost of $17.00 for this procedure.

Before your procedure

If you have been referred by another health provider, please bring your referral letter. You also need to bring any relevant information such as results of a pelvic ultrasound scan.

We recommend taking pain relief such as ibuprofen or paracetamol one to two hours before your appointment. And having something to eat before your appointment.

After the procedure

You may need someone to drive you home as some women feel light-headed and/or nauseated but this usually settles quickly.

You may have some light bleeding and some cramps for a couple of days.

There is a small risk of infection from the procedure. Please call us if you have pain or abnormal discharge for more than 48 hours afterwards.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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