The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
Diagnostic Tests - Endometrial Biopsy
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What happens when the test is performed?

  • This test is performed in the doctor's office. It begins with a pelvic examination (see page 44). Then, after cleaning your vagina and cervix (the entrance to the uterus, visible from your vagina) with antibacterial soap, the doctor might put a clamp on your cervix to hold it steady. He or she inserts a flexible, sterile plastic instrument called a pipelle, which looks like a drinking straw, through the opening in your cervix and positions it several inches into the uterus. Then the doctor pulls a thin wire out of the center of the pipelle. As the rod is pulled out, the pipelle becomes hollow and creates suction, drawing some of the cells from the lining of your uterus into the pipelle. To get a good sample, the doctor will move the pipelle forward and backward a few times before removing it. The cell sample is deposited in some fluid to be examined later under a microscope. The entire procedure takes about 10 minutes.

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