An endometrial biopsy (EMB) is an office procedure in which a sample of cells from inside the uterus is collected. An EMB is usually done for women who have irregular or heavy bleeding in order to diagnose uterine abnormalities like uterine cancer, precancerous cells or polyps. It is also performed for women who have vaginal bleeding after menopause.
While the Pap smear collects cells from the surface of the cervix, the EMB goes deeper into the cavity of the uterus. A speculum is first placed into the vagina. The cervical canal is opened slightly. Then a thin plastic tube, called a pipelle, is threaded through the cervix and into the uterus itself. The pipelle rubs against the walls of the uterus to collect the cells. The procedure lasts less than 5 minutes.
The sample is sent to the lab for analysis under the microscope. You can expect the results in about one week.
Some women have mild cramping during the procedure while others do not feel it at all. The cramping usually subsides within 15 minutes.