The biopsy may cause a small amount of bleeding (spotting). The woman can resume normal activities right away. If cramping becomes severe, heavy bleeding occurs, or the woman develops a high temperature, the doctor should be notified immediately.
If the test is being done to determine the cause of infertility, the onset of the menstrual period following the biopsy should be reported to the doctor. This will allow the doctor to correctly predict if the endometrium has been developing at the expected rate.
The risks of an endometrial biopsy are very small. There is a possibility that prolonged bleeding may occur after the procedure. There is also a slight chance of an infection. Very rarely, there are instances when the uterus is pierced (perforated) or the cervix is torn because of the biopsy.
Most biopsies are done to rule out endometrial cancer or endometrial hyperplasia. A normal result shows no cancerous or precancerous cells. Normal results also show that the uterine lining is changing at the proper rate. If it is, then the results of the biopsy are said to be "in-phase" because the tissue looks appropriate and has developed normally for the late phase of the menstrual cycle.
If the endometrium is not developing at the appropriate rate, the results are said to be "out-of-phase" or abnormal. The endometrium has not developed appropriately and cannot support a pregnancy. This condition is called luteal phase defect and may need to be treated with progesterone.
Abnormal appearance of the cells forming the uterine tissue could also indicate uterine cancer, or the presence of fibroids or polyps in the uterus.
Lata Cherath PhD, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,