in Personal Posts

Are Doctors Underestimating the Pain of Endometrial Biopsy?

  • July 2, 2018
  • By Sabine
  • 47 Comments
Are Doctors Underestimating the Pain of Endometrial Biopsy?

My doctor right before my endometrial biopsy: “It’s similar to a pap smear. You may feel some cramping and pressure.”

She “forgot” to mention the stabbing pain, the scraping and slashing. She also “forgot” to tell me that there is a high chance I’d get dizzy, nauseous and shaky,  maybe even pass out.

In 2015, I had a “surprise” endometrial biopsy.  Doctor asked me to come in to discuss my pelvic ultrasound results. Next thing I knew, she cut and scraped three samples from my cervix. I wasn’t offered any pain medication or anesthesia. After the biopsy, both the doctor and nurse quickly left the room. I felt incredibly dizzy, nauseous and shaky. My entire body was tingly and hot. I almost passed out. My first thought was something went terribly wrong. Later in the car, I fell apart and cried.

When I first wrote about my experience, I had no idea how many women have to put up with this insanely painful procedure. I have received over a hundred comments from women who describe this procedure as “barbaric” and “traumatizing”. Each time I read a new comment, my heart goes out to each and every lady.

Please take a few minutes to read some of the comments. Here’s what most of them have in common.

  • doctor downplayed the procedure
  •  “some pressure and cramping”
  •  “slight discomfort”
  •  was misinformed
  • wasn’t offered pain medication or anesthesia
  • felt sharp, stabbing pain
  • felt nauseous, dizzy, shaky
  • I passed out
  • I screamed

“I just had my biopsy a few hours ago. My dr. said I’d experience “cramping” at first, I thought I could handle it and then the searing pain deep inside was too much. I thought she was done and then she said she needed one more. I started sweating and crying and held my breath. This was one of the most painful procedures I’ve had done. I had to lie down for five minutes afterward to pull myself together. I went to my car and bawled my eyes out:(.”

“I had a EMB today and I will say it hurt like hell! I have a curved cervix so putting in the tool to open you was painful to start with. She measured my uterus…that hurt but once she started the procedure I couldnt help but to scream. She asked me if I could handle the procedure and not scream?? Clearly she has never had one. As soon as they start you naturally scream but I tried to keep from doing it by squeezing my own fat on my stomach! That was the only thing I could grab although it wasnt much to hold on to. She did 2 or 3 samples and I couldnt wait for her to be done! Once she was done I covered my face with my hands and was in so much pain all I could do was laugh hysterically then I started shaking then came the tears. I couldnt get up for about 10 min waiting for the pain to stop…it didnt so i got up and got dressed. I will never do this again..if it is needed they need to find a alternative method to get their sample by because I am not a gluten for punishment!!!”

This comment is really scary. Ladies, make sure someone can drive you.

“Thank you for this post. On June 18, 2018 I had this procedure done….mild discomfort during the procedure…got up got dressed and was told by my dr when leaving, if I ran a fever to go immediately to the emergency room……5 minutes later while driving home…had a massive vasovagal response and caused a massive motor vehicle collision. Do not mess with this stuff-have someone drive you always.”

Why in the world do they not tell us to have someone drive us?

Why are they subjecting us to so much pain? Why can’t they give us local anesthesia?

Why are doctors downplaying the pain?

This is NOT a standard procedure. An endometrial biopsy is NOT a “no big deal” procedure.

The dentist numbs your mouth to fill a cavity. Some even offer a numbing gel for a regular cleaning. I once had a biopsy done on my gums – didn’t feel a thing.

Why is it that  when a tooth is drilled it is numbed but when a piece is taken from the cervix , we have to “suck it up” and endure?

I hate to say it, is it because it’s a “woman thing”? Do they assume we have a higher tolerance for pain than men? Is it because we are women and they expect us “to suck it up”?

For so many women, an endometrial biopsy is pure hell and something needs to be done to improve this situation. There has to be a better way. I have two daughters and I don’t ever want them to experience this distressing and traumatic procedure.

How do we go about this? What can be done? Do we lobby? It’s frustrating that in the year 2018 women still have to endure this.  If anyone has any ideas on how to change this, please let me know.

By Sabine, July 2, 2018
  • 47
47 Comments
  • Holly
    July 17, 2018

    I had an endometrial biopsy done when I had a Mirena IUD inserted. I totally agree that doctors downplay this procedure. It was awkward and painful. I actually felt like ripping the tools out of my gynecologist’s hands so the pain would stop. I had a delayed vasovagal response and felt like passing out when I was driving home. I also think it’s downplayed because it’s a “female thing”. It should really be done under some kind of anesthesia or pain block. I’m scheduled to have another endometrial biopsy tomorrow prior to be given the okay for an endometrial ablation procedure. I am dreading it and am even thinking about canceling.

    • sabines
      July 18, 2018

      Holly, I completely agree with you. Like you said, it’s a “female thing” and totally downplayed. Good luck with your future procedures. Hope they will be less painful.

    • Jewel Barry
      June 27, 2019

      Thank you so much for writing this! I just (tried) had one and OMG!!! I should have known something was wrong when the nurse basically gave me the “you’ve been warned” arm pat. She said it would be “really bad cramping” and looked at me sympatheticly.
      Ummm.. that’s not CRAMPS. It felt like there was a knife ripping through through my left side straight into my back! I literally came off the table jerking so bad I’m lucky she didn’t rip me open. My flight response kicked in I couldn’t make myself sit still to let her finish. I was begging her to stop and apologizing to HER because I just couldn’t do it. She was sympathetic and said “everyone pain is different”. Like it’s not normal for it to be that bad. SOOO now I’m scheduled to do it all again it 2 wks??? Nope I DON’T THINK SO LADY. It was nearly an hour before I quit shaking and sweating. I thought until I read this that I was an exception.
      I asked her if there was something she could give me next time to make it more tolerable, and she said no because a local wouldn’t “reach” where they do the biopsy. That sounds like B.S. to me but…that’s what she said.
      Anyway I’m still cramping and bleeding. But no testable tissue to show for it. And I REALLY don’t think I can go back and do another.

      • Sabine
        June 28, 2019

        I remember the slashing, scraping feeling. It’s not fun! Sorry you had to go through all this for nothing.

  • laurie
    July 18, 2018

    HI and thanks for your post. I had an endometrial biopsy four years ago and again today. The first time I took a look at the tool displayed which looked like a very long pair of scissors at least a foot long and I requested ibuprofen beforehand. My gyn gave me 800 mg which made the procedure tolerable but painful. This time I was told to take ibuprofen beforehand but I can’t because I have a stomach ulcer so I took one 500 mg of Tylenol. It was excruciating. My gyn was very skilled and quick and very informative. She told me when I was ready for each sweep to say “go.” I could only whisper as I tried to breath through the pain. She took 1 1/2 minutes to complete the biopsy. She explained that local anesthetic options require additional pain (shots in the cervix) and they do not affect the uterine cramping pain. She has found them to be ineffective. You are right that something needs to be done. It feels like a form of medieval torture. I cried before, after, and on my way to the car just from the sheer trauma of it. It should be performed under general anesthesia. It is ridiculous that women should have to suffer in such a way. Either the people making routine guidelines are ignorant of the true trauma and pain of this procedure or they don’t care.

    • sabines
      July 19, 2018

      Laurie, my cyber hug is coming your way. I hate it so much that so many women suffer through this. There has to be a better way. You’re brave for going through this twice. Not sure I would have the guts to do it again. Ugh. Feel better and thank you for commenting on my little blog.

  • laurie
    July 18, 2018

    I would consider complaining, complaining and complaining to perhaps certain boards like American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to start. The squeaky wheel gets the oil and the more wheels the better. Thanks!

  • Tameisha Giddens
    September 6, 2018

    Having one today and I’m afraid to go because I HATE pain can’t stand it LORD have mercy on me

  • Sandy
    September 14, 2018

    I had the procedure done about six hours ago and I am still fighting back tears. I had no idea how painful an experience this would be. Not to mention the fact that no one mentioned that I would possibly be passing blood clots of this size. I’m disappointed that my doctor or the office staff didn’t think that it was important that I needed to know what to expect.

    • sabines
      September 16, 2018

      Ugh, I’m so sorry, Sandy. Not informing us or downplaying the procedure appears to be a common thread amongst doctors. Why?

      • Sandy Jones
        September 17, 2018

        I posted on your blog an update to what ended up happening to me. I would love to post my story here as well. I want as many people as possible to know. We have to fight for change!

        Please, for the love of God, what can we do to improve this procedure for women in the future? I have been to Hell and back since having the biopsy done a few days ago. I was not told of any risks, nor did I sign any forms or given any paperwork. I was led to believe there would be some discomfort with possible cramping and spotting. The procedure was horrific in itself. The pain was excruciating. In conversation with the nurse, the doctor said that I had a lot more fluid than he would expect and that may be the source of my problem. I told him that it was making me sweat and I was hurting. Immediately afterward the doctor helped me sit up and asked if I felt nauseous or dizzy. I said that was painful but no I was ok. I put on the pad that the nurse gave me because I was bleeding. There was blood on the bed and on the floor. I drove straight home and was cramping and bleeding. I am a single mom and my son was gone so I was home alone, although thankfully my mom lives next door. I continued to bleed, but I assumed it was the “fluid” from my uterus. The doctor did not tell me to watch for any symptoms or anything. The bleeding became heavier and I started passing clots. In the middle of the night I was googling everything I could on the procedure. Reading some personal stories I discovered that many people experienced heavy bleeding for a few days and then it subsided so I continued to “tough it out”. By 730 the next morning I was bleeding through everything and passing clots the size of my fist. I called my mom and she came immediately. Before we could decide what to do I passed out on the toilet in front of her. I could go more into the horrors that I endured. She called 911 and I was rushed to a large hospital a couple of towns away, bypassing the smaller hospitals. I was unresponsive for about 30 minutes. At times I could hear what was being said and I fought hard to open my eyes, but I just couldn’t. My blood pressure was 55/30 and EMTs were saying that I was bleeding out. Thankfully, I started clotting on my own halfway to the hospital and began regaining consciousness. The ER staff was prepared to do an emergency hysterectomy, but because I had clotted they did not. I left the hospital on Sunday night. It is now Monday and I am still sore. I have a wonderful support group with my mom, children, friends, and coworkers. A woman from the doctors office called me at 8 am to tell me that the blood work they did came back okay and my biopsy results would be ready by my two week out appointment. I said that they should know that I had been hospitalized over the weekend and gave her a brief description of what had happened. Her unsatisfactory response was, “oh really, over a little procedure like that”. It is now 345 pm and the doctor’s office has not even had the decency to call and check on me, let alone the actual doctor calling. I would like to tell them to go to Hell, but instead I want to make changes. This is unacceptable in every way. Please someone…what can we do?

  • stacey yelenock
    September 18, 2018

    I am just home from my visit to the gynecologist for this ‘routine’ procedure that II was told) results in ‘slight discomfort’ and ‘mild cramping’. “They haven’t lost anyone yet” is what they said to me when I called a few days ago to relay my concerns (after doing some research)… “I have never had anyone not be able to get thru the procedure”. Well doc, that was until today. I am 46yo, no children. Was unable to take the Cytotec (to thin my cervix) because I have asthma and apparently that was an issue. So because I have not had children and i couldn’t take the medication, my cervix is ‘thick’. I wasn’t even able to get thru the procedure. They inserted the speculum and then whatever the next step is (I think it was to measure the cervix). She said “ok, deep breath and some cramping”. I tried to breathe through it and I tried to beast my way through it. About 15 seconds later, I screamed NO NO NO and started hyper ventilating and crying. Fortunately, they stopped and will schedule me to have this procedure in the hospital under GA. I can’t for the life of me understand why women would be subjected to this barbaric traumatic violation of a procedure. I am shell shocked.

    • sabines
      September 18, 2018

      Stacey, so sorry for what you went through. I don’t understand it either. Why do so many doctors think women should just “suck it up” and deal with it? Unacceptable.

  • Misty K Coggins
    September 26, 2018

    Had a biopsy done yesterday due to finding abnormal thickening in the endometrial well I asked on a scale.of 1-10 how bad does it hurt she said oh about a 2-3 I said oh ok that’s not bad and omg when they put the clamp thing on that’s what she called it o clenched my damn butt and my feet nailed the stirrips and then even worse when she said ok your gonna feel some cramping I’ll admit I just swore out loud a few times and even said 2-3 my ass holy shit! And ever since I had it done my stomach just hurts all the way round to my back even . I just now stopped spotting. This really is an awful procedure that I think everyone should have done maybe given a sedative or something or knocked out!

  • Camille Hugg
    January 29, 2019

    If you are among those who’ve experienced the stabbing pain, the scraping and slashing from an endometrial biopsy, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. I am a 69 year old post menopausal woman who has never given birth. I had my first endometrial biopsy this morning. My doctor told me to take 800 mg. of ibuprophen one hour before, along with a 1 mg.Klonopin. I had never been through this procedure and was apprehensive because of all the horror stories I’ve read. My doctor was very gentle and reassuring. She applied numbing spray and talked me through the procedure. The only thing I felt was a little mild cramping just a couple of times and then the procedure was over. I do hope others will not be freaked out by all the negative experiences of some. Just try to find a compassionate and experienced doctor who will go the extra mile in making this a pain-free procedure.

    • Sabine
      January 30, 2019

      Thank you, Camille, for sharing your positive experience. I’m happy to hear your doctor informed you well prior to the procedure. However, from my own experience and the comments I’ve received, most doctors don’t go the extra mile to make this a pain-free procedure. Wish they did.

  • Angela
    February 7, 2019

    I had a biopsy on yesterday. My Dr prescribed the cytotec to be taken 6 pm the night before and 6 am the morning of the procedure. She also prescribed 850 mg of Ibuprofen to be taken at those times as well. She knew I was very anxious due to all of the horror stories that I had heard, so she also prescribed vallium to be taken an hour before the procedure. I must admit that I did feel some painful cramping and pressure but I don’t think it was anywhere near what’s described in other comments. My Dr was really patient and we kinda went at my pace. Right before the biopsy, she did some sort of ultrasound that involved water. It was uncomfortable as well so I asked for a five minute break before we started the biopsy. She agreed and talked me through what was going to happen. I had light spotting yesterday but nothing today. I really do think it depends on the Dr.

    • Sabine
      February 9, 2019

      Angela, thank you for sharing this. I’m happy to hear your experience was more positive. I agree, a lot depends on your doctor.

  • Lucy Ortiz
    February 15, 2019

    I find comfort in finding your blog. I’m crying as I’m typing this. About 4 hours ago I had this endometrial biopsy. I had no idea it was going to happen either. It was a follow up to go over my results of my pelvic ultrasound from a few days prior. Dr was very honest “it will be Very painful” she advised. She had 2 other female drs w/her. One held my hand the entire 3 to 4 minutes (which felt like an eternity); I squeezed the hell out of her hand and agonized very loudly- this unbearable and inhumane procedure. These 3 women surrounded me and were so compassionate but it didn’t change the horrible experience. I will never have one again. Reading your story and the other comments helped explain the emotions I feel.

    • Sabine
      February 16, 2019

      Lucy, so sorry to hear about your agonizing experience. Sounds a lot like mine minus the compassionate/honest doctor. Thank you for sharing and I hope you’re feeling better.

  • ShawnaL
    February 18, 2019

    I had an endometrial biopsy done a few hours ago. I thought it was a simple regular biopsy which I’ve had before and experienced no ill effects from, it wasn’t until I was asked to sign the consent for that I was informed it was in fact an endometrial. I was not given any advoce on iburofin or anything, I was told I was gonna feel a “pinch” before each sample was taken and all I can say is a “pinch” doesn’t make me grab the table. I thought I was being overly dramatic about the pain I’m now feeling until I found this page. Thank you to you and everyone else who has shared here. I like my Dr. and his staff but I do feel the procedure was very downplayed. Thank you for giving me back my peace of mind.

    • Sabine
      February 23, 2019

      Shawna, “pinch” and “pressure” seem to be the terms so many doctors like to use for this procedure. Yes, I agree, they downplay the heck out of this. Thank you for sharing.

  • Marietta Ward
    March 12, 2019

    Huh.I might suggest watching Travis W. McCoy in office saline hysteroscopy polypectomy with just a paracervical block set in for 25 mins of course He only does the saline fill to your comfort level. I may have been over medicated with a concious sedation (so called) for my saline polypectomy which she also did not explain that she uses the endometrial biopsy suction catheter tip at the end of the snipping (snip singular is what she told me a month later post op visit) and grabbing out of the actual polyp on the area to pull the plug of polyp forming tissues. No one offered that paracervical block and I should have been. Those work pretty well on me after they have time to work, for me they DO affect MY cramping reflexes , I REMEMBER from the colpo, back in 2012. After the first hole punch it took 4 mins before the next hole punch in that window the rest of the lidocaine must have been pushed and finally kicked in. Ah yes back to concious sedation I am assuming so called…which was so deep it was no memory of her actually doing the procedure. I had no clue what legal lines. Actually General Anesthesia is where they have you inhale plus iv drugs and put the breathing tube down your throat, vs.the oxygen canula up your nose with just two sticky heart monitors not like 3 or 4 and a pulse ox on your finger. Might want to be careful of your terminology. I kinda am thankful for being knocked out….but really needed a slow IM of Valium or diazepam stuff with paracervical block. More later… the meds in my arm was almost worse than the female pain. The severe dizzy I had was the drugs…I will explain the saline sonogram next time to illustrate.

  • Marietta Ward
    March 14, 2019

    It depends on the doctor also. You might want to check out the article, PLACEMENT OF ANESTHETIC AT MULTIPLE ANATOMICAL SITES FACILITATES PATIENT COMFORT DURING HYSTEROSCOPY. Malcom G. Munro M.D. J. Mininally Invasive Gyn. 2014 21(5):791-798. It is better than the old parCervical block. That is progress!

  • Marietta Ward
    March 14, 2019

    I guess what bothers me the most is are doctors overestimating the pain of operative saline hysteroscopy and drugging polyp and most simple fibroids patients to death, saying we have to be put to sleep $450. Guess they want their jaguar paid off quickly.Since you don’t get warm saline to gently stretch the uterus. for the biopsy that is what makes it 10 times worse, so I feel VERY SORRY for all you women very much. (She only said she went under the area of the polyp and of course I was out cold from the iv.) The warm saline relaxes me like it did for saline sonogram. I knew she was going to find a blocked left fallopian tube with the HSG, the polyp was found only this way also on that day I could feel everything during that saline sonogram and the polyp was too little to see yet besides it was one of those long skinny flat ones so in its infancy it would not show up anyhow. Total was 5cm long 3cm by 0.3cm. So essentially the worst part of my experience the consent form coming in the mail saying that I was choosing the use of anesthetics when I was told I had to pay the $450 up front or I could not have the polypectomy..,then two weeks later 68 hrs before my appt I am backed into signing a lie of a consent form. Which had no true current alternative methods mentioned. THAT was my ultimate mistake. At least I got the bloat and wgt loss, facial hair acne gone plus the twinge sensation of the polyp swooshing along my internal os of the cervix that squeezed against the intramural fibroids especially the one on top of my cervix. Sex got a lot better needless to say. Thankfully.

  • Lisa Kohler
    March 21, 2019

    Hi ladies, I read this post with some concern. The concern I have is that an endometrial biopsy is often the only way endometrial cancer can be definitely diagnosed. My fear is that with some of the horror stories women read on the internet, many women will refuse to have this procedure done. It would be tragic if women were to cancel this procedure and later on discover that they had endometrial cancer. Last year, due to a number of symptoms I was experiencing, my gynaecologist ordered an endometrial biopsy. I am a very nervous person when it comes to medical procedures and I research everything. After reading many horror stories about this procedure, I was nearly beside myself and just about cancelled the biopsy. I went ahead with it – having a Mirena IUD inserted and an endometrial biopsy done at the same time. My husband took the day off work and accompanied me to the appointment as I was virtually in tears.

    My gynaecologist said to have a couple of Panadol before I went in for the procedure and I was very surprised to discover very little pain was involved at all. In fact, I think I have had Pap smears that were more uncomfortable. I have since spoken to other women who have had this done and were the same as me – they thought it involved minimal discomfort. I simply cannot account for all the terrible stories I read on the internet as that was just not my experience at all. I don’t have a high pain threshold – in fact I think I am a bit of a chicken when it comes to pain. My gynaecologist was very good, so the only thing I can think of is that she was very skilled at the procedure.

    I am unsure how relating horror endometrial biopsy stories on the internet is helping other women. I was scared needlessly by the many negative experiences I read on the internet for a procedure which may be a life saving procedure for some women. I guess my absolute greatest concern would be if women avoided this procedure due to negative information they had read on the internet and then it was subsequently discovered that they did indeed have endometrial cancer which could have been discovered and cured if an endometrial biopsy had been done.

    • Sabine
      March 26, 2019

      Lisa, thank you so much for your comment. I can see why you’re concerned. When I wrote my post, I didn’t do it to scare women. I simply wanted to share my personal experience with this biopsy. Prior to having a surprise endometrial biopsy, I knew nothing about this procedure. Zero. So when my doctor brought it up I didn’t think much of it. I was already in her office, she said it would feel similar to a pap smear… so why not do it. Well, it wasn’t this simple. It was painful and I was completely unprepared and uniformed. I think women have the right to know that this procedure can be extremely painful. Doctors shouldn’t downplay it and should inform their patients. When I published my post, comments started pouring in from women all over the world. I had no idea how many women experience this procedure and how many feel excruciating pain during and after. Nothing wrong with being educated. Maybe the “horror story” comments will motivate women to do more research prior to having this biopsy done, find a skilled doctor and prepare accordingly. For example, have a designated driver, talk to the doctor about possible anesthesia, find out side effects, etc. I’m happy to hear the procedure went well for you and you only had minimal discomfort. I wish this was the case for every woman.

  • Beth Ann Batman
    April 4, 2019

    I back up everything the women that have had horrible experiences said.
    I too was told “cramping and pinch” which is total BS!!!!!!
    I am not a baby. I almost fainted and got sick. I apologized for being a baby. I had to lie there a few minutes before getting dressed, leaving office, and driving myself to work.
    It disturbed me so much that I too started researching. It is to say the least “barbaric” and I cannot believe this is done in America. It is unbelievable.
    I am pretty sure my young female gynecologist has never been on the other end of the table for one of these as she is not that old for menopause.
    I had mine done last May and am scheduled to do another on Good Friday.
    It was so excruciating that I think I am cancelling it. Unless they can give me anesthesia.
    Let me just say….I have had a few oral surgeries, female surgery removing both fallopian tubes and a one pound cyst or fibroid, tonsillectomy, hemmroidectomy, three broken bones, thyroidectomy, cancer treatments and neck fine needle biopsies for thyroid cancer, series of thyrogen shots twice, two steroid epidural blocks and in my teens and 20s severe menstrual cramps. I believe this is the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my life. And I was not given anything at all and had no knowledge of how bad it was to be as mine too was a “surprise”. So no time to research or prepare.
    I too am on board for getting things changed. And for this to be taken seriously.
    So very sorry for all of your bad experiences especially the lady that could have died!

  • Michelle Henige
    April 9, 2019

    I just want to thank you for posting this! I’m crying right now from the trauma and now knowing I’m not crazy or a baby. I thought there was something wrong with me, cause it didn’t feel like she said it would. I haven’t had a period for 2-3 yrs. I’m 54. I started bleeding and having menstrual like pain. I went to dr and she asked me about doing an endometrial biopsy right then while I was there. I asked her how painful it was. She told me, I would feel a little cramping but it wouldn’t be bad. A little ibuprofen would be fine for it. Oh my gosh!! It was so AWFUL!! I’ve had 7 children, 4 of them without any anesthesia. I’d say it rated right up there with transition during labor, which is a 10 for sure!! She kept asking me to slow down my breathing, I was in so much pain! She asked me if I wanted to stop, I thought, well we’re this far, let’s just get it over with, it can’t get worse! It got way worse! I told her to stop, she was only able to get a little sample. She doesn’t know if it’s enough. She tried to go back in without the one tool, it still hurt, but she couldn’t get back in. She even said something afterwards like yes, it’s “uncomfortable”, what! I told her it is way way way past uncomfortable! That it’s extremely painful. She said she was sorry, but more as a pat on the head, like I was exaggerating. I’m so upset! I’ve been reading that there is pain control they can give. They can freeze the cervix and spray lidocaine and other stuff and even give an injection of pain medicine. Why do they continue to do this to us!!! I feel so violated, betrayed, lied to! I feel like I was tortured! I’m not sure what I’m going to do,but I’m not going back to her. I’m so sad for all you other ladies that have experienced this horrendous procedure in the barbaric way we have had it done. I’m so sorry! Thank you again that I know I’m not alone & not crazy!

    • Sabine
      April 14, 2019

      Michelle, I’m sorry you went through the same “hell”. I, too, felt violated, betrayed, and lied to. We are not imagining this. It really does hurt!

      • Meghann
        May 31, 2019

        I had an endometrial biopsy done for an ERA test for IVF on Thursday. I have never ever ever been in that much pain in my life! I’ve been through a battery of testing during this whole processes and honestly was led to believe that this was the easiest of all of those tests. I was advised to take 600mg of Advil 1 hour before. I would feel a quick pinch and it would be done. Doc told me it would be like an intense pap smear. Although I do have to say the nurse behind him was vigorously shaking her head. I have never had a pap be the least bit painful. This was raw agony. He also had to do it twice because he didn’t get enough the first time. I was screeching like a monkey and swearing like a sailor and I’ve never made a single peep during a procedure ever. I think the doctor and the nurse were quite surprised by my reaction although they were both sympathetic. I have a nurse assigned to my case and she did call me today…a day later to see how I was doing. I told her what happened and she said that she really thought it was just a pinch. Told her no….it was horrific and maybe they should be prescribing something stronger than advil. I’ve since been advised by a lot of girls in my IVF group that they were sedated for the procedure…..oh how I wish that this had been the case. I feel like it should be standard practice. That being said quite a few girls in my IVF group were surprised that it was this horrible for me as they really did feel just some light cramping. All I can say is that I WILL NEVER EVER EVER have this done again without being sedated!

        • Sabine
          June 7, 2019

          Sounds barbaric! Sorry you had a terrible experience. I agree with you, I too, wouldn’t do it again without sedation. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Nicole Meckes
    July 29, 2019

    I agree with you all! This procedure is definitely downplayed and is quite barbaric. I was 35 and motherless when I had this procedure done. I took some Advil before, just because of what I read online before, not because the doctor told me anything. When the doctor used the dilator on me to open my cervix, the pain was unbelievable! I gasped sharply (which I read later is what your body does to avoid passing out). The ultrasound tech was telling me to breathe. It was definitely a 10 on the pain scale. The only good thing was that it was over pretty quickly. You do feel traumatized afterward. The tech told me that it was so painful because I never had a child. I have 3 friends who’ve had this done too. All have children and are menopausal (which apparently is the other thing that makes this painful). One has 6 kids and said this was worse than childbirth. Another stopped the doctor. She had it done later with medication to soften the cervix. It is crazy that this kind of torturous treatment is being done in the 21st century. I think there are things that can be done to minimize the pain, like meds to soften the cervix, anesthesia, and doing the procedure at a time in your cycle when the cervix is more open. Anyway, I will never have this done again unless the doctor uses anesthesia or knocks me out. Thanks for bringing awareness to this subject!

  • Nicole Meckes
    July 29, 2019

    I agree! It’s barbaric and traumatic. I have 3 friends who went through it too. They all feel the same. No one is ever doing this to me again unless I’m sedated.

  • Julie Dunham
    August 6, 2019

    I had this done this morning and was told it would be no big deal both by the doctor and my own mother. Fortunately a friend told me her experience. I figured it would be somewhere in the middle. I think I’ve already blocked the worst of the actual procedure because my doctor did get what she needed rather quickly but those 10 seconds felt more like 10 minutes. Thanks to my friend my husband came to drive me home which was definitely needed. What I wasn’t expecting is how I’m feeling now hours later. Ibuprofen isn’t coming close to touching this “discomfort” that becomes unbearable the second I stand up. My periods have become something like torture between pain and heavy bleeding (why I had the procedure done)but I’m at least able to function mostly. This is nothing like period pain and I’m having a hard time even walking across the room. Idk how I’m supposed to go to work if this keeps up tomorrow. Im glad to read everyone’s stories here because my google search before this was making me think I was making this into a way bigger deal that it was supposed to be. Also I can’t imagine that my doctor has ever had to have this done to her or she would definitely be using different words when describing this procedure to her patients.

  • Susie
    August 16, 2019

    I just had the procedure done this morning. I went to by gyn. to have a routine check up and she suggested I get this test done in the office because I am going through menopause and my periods are irregular. She did tell me it would be painful and I can come back another time but I thought, since I’m here, might as well get it done. I have never had children and pap smears are quite painful for me. I was not given any pain meds before starting. The pain was almost unbearable! I was panting and covering my mouth so I would not scream out loud. I kept apologizing for groaning in pain. The doctor was very sympathetic and at one time suggested that we could stop and I could make an appointment at the hospital and get it done under sedation. I thought since I had already started, I might as well finish it up. It wasn’t very long but seemed to take forever. Afterwards, the doctor told me to take as much time as I needed before getting up and leaving. It was such a traumatic experience and I started to cry. It was difficult to get up and get dressed. I had a hard time walking and at one time, felt like I was going faint. I would recommend taking someone with you to drive you back home after the procedure. I do have spotting and took Advil which has helped with the pain. I came home to research the procedure and stumbled over your blog. Thank you so much for posting on this topic! After reading about your experience and the responses of other women who have undergone this procedure, I don’t feel like such a wimp for feeling traumatized and emotional. They definitely need to find a more humane way of carrying out this test!

  • Jackie Bennett
    September 2, 2019

    Agreed, it’s grossly downplayed. I wasn’t “just nervous” since my doctor lied when she sprang it on me at my gyno appt. The realization of having to endure that level of pain while (knowing I has to come back out) is outrageous. It took 2 different doctors to penetrate my uterus & 3 MA’s to hold me down/”support me.” If my uterus is THAT rock hard, maybe ya better reconsider! My results? Notta, just said (Pt is pregnant) to which they blamed on a simple data entry error. I can only assume they didn’t want to make a spectacle out of forgetting to do a pregnancy test & ultimately performing an impromptu in office abortion. What else would you call it?

  • Jess Anderson
    September 9, 2019

    I had one of these done on Friday, and I feel traumatized. I am a 42 year old woman who hasn’t ever had children. They told me I might experience “some cramping” and had me use the Cytotec and 800 mg of ibuprofen. They had a student doctor try to insert the tube and she couldn’t get it, so my regular doctor tried and she couldn’t get it, so they went and got another doctor who tried a few times and finally got the tube through my cervix. This was 100%, ABSOLUTE TORTURE! My wife was with me in the room and she started crying. they kept telling me to expect some cramping, but that was not the problem! The jabbing and then scraping were among the most painful experiences of my life. I left the appointment with chills, feeling lightheaded, and the overwhelming feeling of having just been tortured. This is plain wrong. There has to be a better way! I would be all in favor of a lobby against this cruel procedure.

  • Traci
    September 16, 2019

    Hi Sabine, thanks so much for blogging about this procedure. After I had the procedure, which was downplayed exactly as you highlighted in your article, I immediately starting asking my friends if they have ever had the procedure. Only one had and I’ve surveyed hundreds by now. However, one of my nurse friends, talked on and on about her “cervical biopsy” that she said was a small pinch feeling. Well, I had that as well, sister, and it was literally a small pinch. She tried to call the procedures one in the same, she clearly works in a different area of medicine and doesn’t have a clue what she is talking about. I felt as if I had been tourtured. I asked the nurse if my reaction was normal (I didn’t scream but nearly passed and was nauseated). She said I was actually low key compared to most, however, I wanted to come off the table! A little side note – I am getting my masters in clinical research and product development and have to do a capstone project. I wanted so badly to do my research on this procedure and women’s experiences, but I knew that no gyno office would agree to me surveying their patients for various reasons. It would be a wonderful project and it makes me sad not to be able to produce these results that could shed light on women’s health and misinformation about this procedures. I am also a dental hygienist and have worked for an oral surgeon many years. What you said about local anesthesia for simple dental procedures was my first thought! We would never treat our patients this way.

    • Sabine
      September 22, 2019

      Traci, thank you for sharing. I have read hundreds of comments but hearing about the procedure never gets easier. Seems like you and I had a very similar experience. I just don’t get it, why is this downplayed so much? I truly wish we could shed more light on this.

  • Gary
    September 23, 2019

    I have been studying this procedure since my girlfriend had this procedure done & she complained about it as well. She wasn’t notified beforehand to take anything, nor was she given anything for pain before the procedure. Her experience was bad but not as bad as some of your procedures were. I really think she may have downplayed it to me a little because she knows how much it upsets me when she is hurt. I started doing some research on different types of pain management that was available for this procedure because it did upset me that she wasn’t given anything, I mean come on – this is 2019 here. Turns out that in trials the use of intrauterine lidocaine ( not a paracervical block ) did help considerably in reducing pain in this procedure. It isn’t given through a shot – it is put through a syringe directly through the cervical canal numbing the os as well so penetrating the cervix is less painful as well. The bad news is that this trial was done in 2009 & nothing has changed. You ladies have the power over these doctors to change this & I really do hope you can. I could not take her place in that exam room ( god knows I would have in a second if I could ). I told her never to go through that again. If they would not numb her, to simply get up & leave & I would take her anywhere I had to so that she could get the proper care pain free. A nurse holding your hand isn’t showing compassion- eliminating the pain does when I know they have the ability.

    • Sabine
      September 28, 2019

      Gary, you’re a very caring boyfriend. Any numbing during this procedure would be appreciated. Thank you for sharing.

  • Suzanne
    October 10, 2019

    I just went and had the procedure done October 9th. It was painful but i thought it’s ok not unbearable. I had a lid woth no pain meds i can do it right? Well after the procedure my doc sat me up on the bed and said to sit there for 5 min before trying to stand and get dressed. I never even made it 5 minutes. I did what i was told and while i was sitting there i passed out and woke up with my face in the floor and a puddle of blood. When i saw i was bleeding i got scared and screamed. The doc a nurse and a student came in and i was lying there still woozy and they helped me up and dressed me. They got a wheelchair and took me to the ER. My head, neck , jaw,and chin was hurting at the time. I had to get 5 stitches in my face and now i cant hardly move my arm. It was definitely a bad experience. Have someone in the room with you and dont drive after.

    • Sabine
      October 14, 2019

      Oh dear God! That is horrible, Suzanne. They shouldn’t have left you alone. I almost passed out too. Apparently it’s not that uncommon. Thank you for sharing your experience. Hope you’re feeling better.

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Mom in Music City is a lifestyle blog, written by Sabine Schmidt, celebrating a simple and practical approach to home improvement, decor, beauty, food, parenting, and much more.







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