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Endometrial Biopsy

What is an endometrial biopsy

At the time of ovulation, the progesterone secretion from the ovary effects changes in the endometrium of the uterus. In this way, the uterus prepares for the possible implantation of a fertilized egg.  If the progesterone output after ovulation is inadequate, then the development of the endometrium may not be adequate for implantation to occur. 

A biopsy of the endometrium will determine whether its stage of development is in line with the stage of the cycle.  If there is a lag of more than 2 days, (e.g. on 26th day of the cycle the endometrium has the maturity of only a 23-day cycle), it may indicate insufficient secretion of progesterone. This could be a possible cause of infertility.  An endometrial biopsy has limited utility as it only gives information about one cycle. 

When and how is the biopsy carried out

The biopsy is generally scheduled 2-3 days before the expected period. The cervix is examined in the same way as for a post-coital test and a fine suction curette is gently inserted into the uterus. It is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and causes only minimal discomfort.

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