Monday, February 1, 2010

Endometrial Biopsy

I've been putting this post off. I'm not sure why. It wasn't one of the worst procedures I have endured by any stretch of the imagination. I think there is just so much anxiety and fear that surrounded this particular doctor's visit, and emotionally I just wasn't ready to go back there.

It is important to me that I tell you about this procedure though. Most of the fear that I had built up was thanks to good ol' Dr. Google. The things I read there were horrible and sounded dreadfully painful. My doctor kept assuring me that it wasn't painful at all, but Dr. G can be mighty persuasive sometimes.

Before the exam, the Nurse Practitioner came in and saw my trepidation (it didn't help that she was carrying in wire cutters). She laughed and took the time to show me everything in the kit that they would be using. It is a very simple brush on a stick. The wire cutters were to cut the brush off into the sample container. I felt better after she showed me this. The brush is very small and it is sheathed during insertion so that you don't feel the bristles.

The doctor came in and prepped me just as he would for a pap smear or a regular exam. He put a speculum in place, swabbed iodine on my cervix and proceeded to insert the brush. My case would have to be an exception of course. The brush is on a flexible wire and my cervix gave too much resistance for the brush to go in.

The nurse brought in a sound to help guide the brush into my uterus. I will not lie to you. This was a very uncomfortable moment. It was painful, but not unbearably so, and as I have said before, I have been through many other experiences that hurt much worse than this did. Usually the sound is not even necessary, but I thought I would mention it, as this is as bad as it gets.

Once the doctor was able to move past my cervix, he took a quick swab and that was it. The whole thing took about five minutes and the residual pain was very minor. It took about a week for my results to come back, but my procedure was done three days before Christmas, so I expected a long wait.

Just some tips in case you find yourself in this situation...

Bring a pad. The doc told me I would spot lightly for a day or so. I actually had a full on period. Some of that has to do with the way my lining is though, so I'm not sure what you should expect normally.

Take something. The NP talked to me several days before and told me to take three ibuprofen about an hour before the procedure. Thanks to that tip, my husband and I actually went shopping after I returned home from the doctor. The small amount of pain I had was gone the next morning.

I hope this helps. I don't think the biopsy would have been near as bad if someone had explained to me what the procedure was ahead of time instead of leaving me to consult Dr. G.

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