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.

endometrial biopsy

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.

 

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