Disclaimer: This post is about my personal experience with Endometrial Biopsy. I am not a medical professional and can’t speak for everyone.
Initially, I wasn’t going to share this information on my blog, but after reflecting more on my experience I thought it might be a good idea to put it out there, even if it only helps one other woman.
I recently had a “surprise” Endometrial Biopsy done. Prior to my procedure, I knew nothing about it.
Several weeks ago, I went to see my gynecologist because my period had been heavy and long lasting. The doctor did a pap smear and an internal and external ultrasound. Two weeks later, I received a call from the nurse saying that my pap smear was normal but that I would need to come in to discuss the ultrasound results with the doctor.
I went in and was told that the ultrasound revealed a thick lining of the uterus. The doctor recommended an Endometrial Biopsy right then and there. She explained that the biopsy checks for cancer and polyps. I was not prepared for this at all. I was also on my period but the doctor said it didn’t matter. I have always heard that biopsies were not pleasant, but I had no idea what to expect with this procedure.
Here’s what happened:
With this biopsy my doctor inserted a thin hollow tube through the cervix into the uterus and suctioned out a small amount of endometrial tissue. Tissue samples collected were analyzed by a pathologist. My doctor told me I would feel “a lot of cramping.” The procedure lasted under three minutes and I did feel a lot of pressure when she took the sample. She took the sample three times and by the second time it started to hurt a lot more. I’m not going to lie, it felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach. It was very uncomfortable but I told myself I could handle it since I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. I gave birth three times, twice without an epidural. I wasn’t given anything. Not even an Ibuprofen.
Here’s where I fell apart:
After the procedure I was still on the table when the doctor told me to get dressed. She left and I got up to get my clothes. I felt incredibly dizzy and nauseous. My face in the mirror was white as a sheet and I broke out in terrible sweat. This was the moment I thought I was going to pass out. I sat down in a chair and my whole body felt like it was on fire. I panicked because I had no control over my body. I called for the nurse but she didn’t hear me. After about ten minutes, the weird symptoms slowly faded away. I got up and walked to the bathroom to get a cup of water. Then I left. I sat in the car and cried, feeling weak and shaky and angry with the doctor for downplaying the procedure so much. The psychological distress was worse than the physical pain. At home, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed in a fetal position and cry.
According to Web MD, I had a vasovagal reaction (also called vasovagal syncope). A sudden dizziness or fainting that can be triggered by pain, fright, or trauma. You may sweat, feel lightheaded, nauseated, or tingly, and you may pass out if the reaction continues.
At home I researched the heck out of Endometrial Biopsy. It turns out most women’s experiences sound like horror stories. Apparently women scream in pain during the entire procedure. Some are bedridden for days afterwards.
Here’s what women say:
“I had my biopsy yesterday. It was unexpected so I could not prepare for the pain. It hurt like hell! It felt like a large sharp object was poking around and slashing the inside of my uterus. I was yelling! Loudly. She kept apologizing. She got her first sample but felt like there wasn’t enough tissue so had go in again!!!! I made her wait though, trying to get the pain to subside. It didn’t. Then more searing, agonizing pain! I was sweating. Afterwards, I lay on the table, panting, waiting for the pain to go away. It ebbed but I had cramps all night. If I have to have this done again, I will definitely take some pain meds and a muscle relaxer.”
“HAD THIS DONE YESTERDAY…AND LETS JUST SAY…I WILL NEVER GET THIS DONE AGAIN….IT WAS ALMOST TO THE POINT OF UNBEARABLE…HAD IT NOT BEEN A RATHER QUICK PROCEDURE I COULD HAVE PASSED OUT OR HAD A SEIZURE FROM THIS UNDESCRIBABLE CRAMPING/TWISTING/WRENCHING PAIN…I DON’T KNOW WHO WOULD DO THIS TWICE?FEELS JUST LIKE WHAT IS HAPPENING…YOUR INSIDES ARE BEING YANKED OUT OF YOU!! LETS NOT SUGAR COAT IT LADIES…THATS EXACTLY WHATS HAPPENING!!!”
I guess not every woman has a terrible experience with this. For me it was uncomfortable and painful, but still bearable. I just wish someone would have told me what I can expect after the procedure. Looking back, the doctor totally downplayed the procedure. You can expect “some cramping and pressure”, she told me. I guess she “forgot” to mention the pain part.
Honestly, I almost think it’s better I didn’t know I was going to have this procedure done. I had no time to get anxious and nervous, and I had no time to Google what other women have to say. On the other hand it’s good to be informed and have every question answered before the procedure.
So, for all you ladies out there, in case you ever need an Endometrial Biopsy done, I hope my story was somewhat helpful and informative.
SallyAugust 6, 2015
Yikes! Thanks for the information. I’ve never had this procedure done, but I feel as though the Dr. Could have prepared you a little more. By that, I mean she could have told you more of what to expect, especially afterwards. I mean, what if you would have had to go to work afterwards? Hope you are feeling better.
sabinesAugust 6, 2015
Sally, I agree. My doctor should have told me more. She made it sound like the biopsy wasn’t much more uncomfortable than a pap smear.Afterwards I panicked because I had no idea what was happening to me. Honestly, I thought she had punctured or cut something she shouldn’t have. It’s been a week since I had it done. I feel better and today I was told by my doctor that everything looks ok.Thank you commenting and your kinds words.
citygirl62February 16, 2018
Wow so glad I read these. I am opting out of the biopsy because I don’t trust these doctors on my current HMO. I will wait til I am back to work and on private insurance. They have not reason to do one except I was thinking of getting Hormone replacement therapy now that I am post menopausal. That is his only reason for the biopsy. I am not bleeding menopause ended over a year ago. So I think I will forego HRT for now and just keep eating healthy, exercising and taking camomile tea for sleep. Yikes!!!
sabinesFebruary 18, 2018
I can’t blame you. I wonder how many biopsies are really necessary? Like you, I’m all for eating healthy, exercising, and treating our bodies the natural way. Good luck and thank you for stopping by!
Mamie EdwardsSeptember 10, 2018
I just had one. Yes, It’s painful but tolerable. I imagine it can hurt some people more than others. The Dr should remain until you sit up. Mine did, and asked if I were dizzy. I was not. This test should not be avoided because of fear of the pain. Imagine how painful unchecked cancer is….
sabinesSeptember 16, 2018
Happy to hear your biopsy was tolerable. Most don’t feel that way. I agree, the test shouldn’t be avoided because of fear of pain, but I’m certain there are ways to lessen the pain. This info should be made available to all women who have this done.
PamNovember 12, 2018
I had a biopsy about 5 days ago. It was definitely painful but was tolerable for me. I had some cramping for a day or two afterwards, along with spotting. Thenapotting and cramping ended and I had nothing for a day and then yesterday started spitting again, more than right after the biopsy. Kind of nervous as I don’t know if this is normal? I do not have a fever or anything else, just the bleeding and feeling scared as I wait for the biopsy results.
Lisa SmithMay 15, 2018
Let me start by saying I am 38 and have a history of endometriosis, large chocolate cysts rupturing ( one was at least the size of a baseball and twisted and growing into my kidney) cervical dysplasia and cervical biopsies, copo’s. A LEEP .Also 7 brain surgeries ( after havjng 5 brain surgeries the same day i was up amd painting patio furniture 2 days after) and massive neck surgery. And had a bone tumor removed. I also had my daughter with no pain meds or epidural … I am no stranger to pain. But i have a small vaginal opening and tilted uterus and have found paps to be very uncomfortable unless doc was nice enough to use a smaller speculum. Yes, ladies they do have them and they help . My doctor told me the same crazy story about it feeling like a pap. I have had cervical biopsy and that hurt and was unpleasant but nothing like this. Even while ripping chunks out of a cervix eaten up by bad cells. Because i was misinformed and because I have been thru alot I did not make any special plans to go home and rest after .I knew the minute doctor walked in and had a completely different demeanor than previous appt something was up. They took me to procedure room. I got left alone for several minutes next to the torture devices .He did not use any numbing medication and again said it would feel like a pap.I have had 2 paps and 2 pelvic exams and transvaginal ultrasound the past 8 days .After ultrasound i wound up in e.r. from intense pain so maybe i was already irritated .But my original complaint was knife like pain and 7 periods in 9 weeks. Procedure started I felt pain from speculum and then intense cramping but I am used to that. But then the horrible pain began I think if I wasn’t terrified he would rupture my uterus and I was not paralyzed by pain I would have kicked him across the room .Tears streamed down my face and i made slight whimpering noises and ughhh noises. I breathed and laid there about 20 seconds and had to get out of there .After I felt violated and betrayed. Doc left and nurse seemed way too chipper asked if I had a pad cuz she didn’t know where one was but she would find me one. I said i brought one and she left. I got to my car and felt shaken for a long time . I had to drive a couple hours then run errands before i could go home. Each time someone asked how I was i wanted go cry and say I was just tortured and yourself? The dizziness and nausea and passing out are symptoms of shock. Once your body has been in shock once it makes it easier for you to go into shock again. This obviously hurts alot of women why can’t they knock you out for 5 to 10 mins? I would gladly take an iv to do that.
sabinesMay 15, 2018
Wow, seven brain surgeries? At your young age? You sound like an incredibly strong and brave woman. I don’t know how you endure all this. I’m sorry to hear you had the same miserable experience with the biopsy. And just like you, I, too, would gladly take an IV for this procedure. I wish you all the best and thank you for sharing your story. God bless you.
LisaOctober 15, 2019
I had my second EMB today. First one was about a year ago. Due to medical issues unrelated they refused to do my hysterectomy until I had this done again to rule out cancer. I had to wait a month knowing what it felt like. I have a history of endometriosis. Large chocolate cysts. And precancerous and cancerous cells eating away.my cervix so they removed 70% of my cervix. And having three periods a month for two amd a half years. It was awful last time but the pain was short lived and this time I knew what it felt like so i was not caught off guard by the whole ” it feels like a pap” thing. No numbing or freezing or medication of any kind. So they used three tenaculums ( like hemostats only the ends are sharp hooks) to grab my small cervix. there was scar tissue and he could not dilate my cervix. So instead of two minutes of pain and that awful awful cramping some of us get the cramping continued which i assume means the cervix closes even more. Eleven tries and still he can’t get cervix to open so he is using this thick plastic hook that has rings to dilate you and gets bigger in diameter. Then he sends nurse somewhere to have someone else grab some other instrument of torture. That takes awhile.Then the twelve time is the charm and he starts the suction scraping of my uterus. During some part i utter an expletive and he stops what he is doing to look at me. It was so so so much worse this time. Pushing thru the scar tissue was awful and literally as he pulls the large speculum out he tells me to sit up. The cramping did not stop. I had to lean on the wall to make my next appointment. Still has not stopped and i vomited an hour ago. He casually mentions my pap from last year and the one from two weeks ago are the same and have not gotten worse. What?!? No one ever told me it was abnormal either time. I absolutely refuse to ever have this done again!! Was a hundred times worse this time. I dont know if it was endometriosis or scar tissue from the last emb but it was hell. I still hurt and feel something isn’t right. He told me I would bleed alot because he had so much trouble. If i did not have surgery for relief at stake i would have made hiim stop. there is still a pressure and soreness that i did not have previously. I know some people have very little to no pain during this procedure and they are extremely lucky. I live with pain everyday. And have an extremely high pain threshold. I really think it makes a difference how small your cervical opening is and other female issues you have going on. I had a baby with no drugs and no epidural , no screaming and no cussing and i would rsthqer have a baby every day for weeks rather than have this done a third time!!
Dorothy BrandowAugust 7, 2018
I wasn’t prepared for the removal of my uterine polyp. The doctor didn’t inform me of the possible pain. The pain was unbearable. She did the procedure two time in a row. I broke out in a total body sweat during and afterwards . I’m sure I was white as a ghost as she said take as long as you need, the room is yours. I lie on the table for 15 to 20 minutes and still couldn’t get up without being dizzy. Waited another 15 minutes then sat up and passed out and fell off the table onto the floor. When I came to I didn’t know where I was. Finally got back on the table for another twenty minutes. No nurse came in during this time. I was still sweating but sat up and breathed deeply to get my self together. Finally I was able to get dressed and move to a chair where I immediately started started to pass out again. I got onto the floor and put my head down between my legs. I was in the office without any one for probably 30 minutes. Never will I have this procedure again.
sabinesAugust 8, 2018
Wow, I can’t believe not a single nurse checked on you. Actually, I do believe this. The same thing happened to me. I’m so sorry you had this horrible experience. I’m just about speechless. Hope you’re feeling a little better today and thank you for commenting.
AdrianaOctober 16, 2018
I had done today, also unexpected, after trying to treat for a vaginal discharge for 2 years. During a consultation, the doctor suggested a biopsy. She said that will be just a little cramp afterwards. I was concerned because I had to go to work a few hours after the procedure, and she said most of people go back to work without any problem. During the procedure I was sweating, in pain and she was asking me to relax, I broke down in tears, shaking and feeling sick from my stomach. She apologize left the room, the nurse bought me a pad and left. I stay a few minutes by myself, got dressed, went home crying, feeling like someone abused me. I lay down at home tor an hour, took Tylenol for pain, hopping that’s gonna go away and went to work. I was dragging myself the whole day at work. I still with strong pain, hope tomorrow it will get better and I will never have to do this again.
DawnOctober 29, 2018
I just had this done today. The doctor told me that the dizziness is from a drop in blood pressure. I expected the slight discomfort of a pap. This, as many women described, was searing, burning pain.
The nurse let me squeeze her hand.
I sweated, was nauseated. Awful.
sabinesOctober 31, 2018
“slight discomfort of a pap”… I was told the same. What a joke! Hope you’re feeling better today.
Flower PowerAugust 30, 2018
This, by far was the most horrific experience – same as the above! No freezing. An extra nurse beside me to calm me down or “hold me down”. Terrible pain. Actually YELPING as the procedure was being done. Was white as a ghost and nauseous for the day. Up to 5 days later was still leaching blood, skin tissue, 2 inch clots and chunks of gelatinous human tissue. Ankles were swollen for an entire week. Weakness in the legs could barely move/walk up to day 3. This was a butcher job. Medical associations need to categorize this procedure as surgery! Or at least give us some lidocaine. Ive had natural childbirth no epidural or gas like a champ. This was plain outrageous.
sabinesSeptember 1, 2018
I agree. It is outrageous that with all of today’s medical advancements, we still have to suffer through this procedure. Hope you’re feeling better today.
DanAugust 9, 2015
Glad that everything is OK, You’re a tough lady.
sabinesAugust 9, 2015
Thank you. Thanks for reading!
BeckyAugust 16, 2016
I had one yesterday and was told ” I will feel cramping”. What I felt was not cramping, it was pure pain. I held it in until I could take no more and broke down in deep sobbing. It’s day two and I feel weak and like I am having another period. I will never do that again!
sabinesAugust 17, 2016
Becky, reading this gave me goosebumps.I know exactly how you feel. So sorry you had to go through this. Mine was one year ago and I still don’t like to think about it. Hope you feel better soon and that your results are ok.
jess2248June 28, 2017
I screamed out right there on the table!!! I was trying to breathe through it like you do with labor pains, but those breaths turned into screams, because it was way worse than cramps!!
sabinesJune 28, 2017
Oh man, so sorry to hear this. Take it easy for the next couple of days.
Claudia LibermanMay 28, 2018
Am so sorry that everyone had such pain. I did too..
It was horrendous…
Yes, there definitely should be the option to be put under, in a twilight sleep…i had breast cancer & post-menstrual bleeding..chose a hysterectomy to be “safe”.. thank God no pre- cancer or cancer. One of the reasons why I’m glad I had the hysterectomy is NO MORE ENDO BIOPSIES!
sabinesMay 29, 2018
Claudia, I’m sorry for everything you’ve been through. You are a very brave woman. Thank you for taking the time to comment… it’s much appreciated. Wishing you good health and happiness.
ClaudiaMay 31, 2018
Simone, thank you so much for your kind, supportive words….means alot to me…my regular gyno (Not the one who did the endo biopsy; that was done at the surgeon who did the hysterectomy) actually said that an endo biop is “God-awful”. I kid you not, ladies…his exact words..
One thing I always ask my Drs before a procedure that sounds like it won’t be fun & in fact might venture into nightmare territory, is “if your daughter, wife, girlfriend, mom, aunt, grandma, female pet, etc was in my situation, would you recommend this procedure?”
And, for paps, etc in general, ALWAYS ask for a CHILD-SIZE speculum…dont let them tell you there isn’t such a thing. Especially if you are dry & tight…
We are beautiful brave women, & we deserve the best care….
sabinesJune 3, 2018
That is such good advice, Claudia. I didn’t know you can choose the size of the speculum. Thank you for the info.
CindyJune 14, 2018
I want to thank you so much for posting this. I’ve had two endometrial biopsies, about 10 years ago and then again yesterday.
I really don’t remember the first experience being that bad. It was a bit uncomfortable and I did feel some cramping, but it was over relatively quickly and other than a little bleeding for a day or two, was fine.
The one yesterday was a whole other (awful) experience! My doctor is awesome and she did warn me. In fact, she said that any time I wanted to stop, she would. However, she also said that given the circumstances, she thought it was necessary (for post menopausal bleeding with thickened lining per an ultrasound) and that we could always schedule it as a surgery in the operating room.
Because I remembered the first time not being horrible, and just wanted to get the darned thing over with without “surgery”, I said to go ahead and try to get it done.
While the doctor went slowly and checked in with me frequently, I cried like a baby throughout the whole thing. It turned out she didn’t have the right size speculum and had to leave the room to get one.
It almost hurt more when she was finished and removing everything, than when she first started. She wanted to do a second “pass” for a better sample, but at that point I couldn’t take it any more and declined. When I tried to get up afterward, I was dizzy and nauseous, though it passed within a few minutes.
Today, though I have no idea if it’s related or coincidental, I feel slightly nauseous and out of sorts (like I have a bad period, minus the bleeding), though I have no fever or anything like that.
Now I’m just praying that everything comes back OK. What the heck? There’s got to be a better way…
sabinesJune 15, 2018
She left the room to get the right size speculum? Yikes! What are they thinking? I wonder why the first biopsy didn’t feel as bad as the second? Interesting. Praying your results come back negative and I hope you’re feeling a little better. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience. I do appreciate it so much.
LaurenSeptember 24, 2018
I just had a biopsy today. It was very very painful. Like you, it didn’t feel like cramping. I was yelling and also broke down sobbing. I also will NOT do it again!
Mine was compounded by the fact she had to dilate my cervix because the opening wouldn’t allow the suction tub and that was also very painful. Lots of bleeding afterward.
I found the whole thing extremely traumatizing.
DawnOctober 29, 2018
They had to dialate mine too! I’ve never had children so she said my cervix was tight.
jess2248June 28, 2017
I had an endometrial biopsy today and it hurt like hell!!! I also had a Mirena IUD installed, and it hurt as well! I took 5 200mg Motrin dry!! The sharp pain lasted about 5 minutes, but the cramps lasted a few hours. It did subside a little after taking the Motrin. I have just been resting the rest of the day and hopefully tomorrow will be better. She even wanted to do another pelvic ultrasound at the same time, because she wanted to make sure the IUD was inserted correctly because she said I have a very tight cervix. I told her, no way!! I’ll get it done soon, but not today! I think some doctors love to bring the pain!!
sabinesJune 28, 2017
Ouch and ouch. Sorry to hear about your painful experience. Glad to hear you’re feeling a little better. What I learned from mine is that when doctors say “you’ll feel pressure”, they’re really telling you “you are about to feel pain.” Not sure I would want to subject myself to another endometrial biopsy. The whole experience was just so bad.
Cassie Smith (@HR_CassandraDSm)August 19, 2017
I had an endometrial biopsy yesterday and let me tell you, I was grossly ill-prepared for what I experienced. I repeatedly asked my Gynecologist would the procedure hurt and she said it would “feel crampy”. When I researched videos about the procedure, I didn’t see anything about it being painful. What I should have researched was “endometrial biopsy hurt like hell”! Here’s my story: I was diagnosed with menorragia in 2014. My periods are heavy and irregular and I was passing blood clots and tissue every day for months on end since 2013. Finally in 2014 I had had all I could take and my doctor recommended a Hysteroscopy and D&C, but the gynecologist that performed the procedure never told me about the ablation procedure until AFTER I had the hysteroscopy and D&C. Fast forward to 2017 and the menorragia came back with a vengeance. My former gynecologist has since moved away so I found a highly recommended gynecologist in the next town over. After having my ultrasound, I went back for the results and she said I was a good candidate for the ablation but she would have to do a endometrial biopsy first, just to make sure my cells are healthy and that there are no cancerous tissue or abnormalities. I asked her was this a procedure that required general anesthesia and she laughed and said no. She said she would give me meds that would dilate my cervix since I’ve never had a natural birth with my children. (I had 3 c-sections back in the 90s.) The day of my procedure I was having so much anxiety so I took a Xanax and was off to my appointment. I was relived when they didn’t have the tray of tools visible and only brought them in after I was undressed from the waist down and in the stirrups. The doctor comes in, she inserts the speculum and gets to work, talking me through it. She numbs my cervix and then inserts some tool. I felt pressure and cramping but then it started to get more uncomfortable but I kept holding strong even asking her can I hum outloud. She said sure. Then something stabbed me so hard I screamed out in pain. I said oh my god! What was that? She said it was the tissue sample and that she was almost done. I continued to moan and plead with her to hurry and she finally tool the speculum out, gave me some ibuprofen, and I sat up and felt relieved but traumatized like never before. I also felt lied to. There is no way this procedure should be legal and not done under local or general anesthesia!! Whomever sanctioned this procedure is barbaric and I will never do it again. Please ask your doctors in advance if there is an alternative test that can be done and if not, I recommend taking Xanax and pain meds prior to the procedure. I didn’t write this to scare anyone but I wanted to be honest about what I personally experienced and the unbelievable pain I felt. Good luck ladies!
sabinesAugust 19, 2017
Cassie, it pains me to read this. So sorry you had to go through this. And I agree, this procedure needs local anesthesia. My doctor made it sound like the biopsy wasn’t much different than a pap smear. “Just some pressure” I was told. I wasn’t even offered an Ibuprofen afterward.Nothing before, nothing after. I almost fainted with agony. Not my best day. Hope you feel better soon and thanks for sharing your story.
Sharon hughesApril 11, 2018
I had one today and it’s my third one so I knew pain would be involved but you are never prepared for what is about to happen…. I screamed until the end and my doctor needed another sample so I did not passed out like the first time but they really need to put women under this is way tooooooo much pain to bear…. I am still bleeding and I am still having cramps and I just hurt down there…. I really wish I had taken the day off work 2 days…
sabinesApril 16, 2018
This sounds horrible. Sorry, you had to experience so much pain. Hope you’re feeling better.
LisaMay 15, 2018
I would also like to say I looked up this procedure online and it said slight cramping and pressure. I think part of me is glad I didn’t find personal stories of this until after it was done .I live in pain everyday and I don’t think I would have been able to let him do it. Mentally yes I could have psyched myself up but physically I would have clammed up and they would not have been able to proceed. I have literally shot a speculum out because I was already in terrible pain from huge cyst rupturing. Scared the hell out of doc( this has happened 3 times Lol. ) That is when I was given the smaller speculum or as i refer to it .The evil metal duck billed platypus .
WasThatNecessaryAugust 25, 2017
I had one today. I screamed so loud & begged her to stop. Horrible pain. Very faint. I took 1/2 xanex and had a cervical block. Still it was awful. Now my abdomen is so swollen. I feel like I have a cut inside.
sabinesAugust 26, 2017
That is horrible.I’m sorry you had to experience this. They really need to come up with a different method. Hope you feel better soon and thank you for sharing here.
NursekimAugust 31, 2017
I had one this am. I was advised to take some Advil beforehand so I did. I was a bit anxious however I have a great deal of faith in my gynaecologist. Started out like a pap. Then I felt some cramping. Soon after the cramping intensified and sort of remained steady. Yes it was painful but tolerable and thankfully brief. I am so shocked to read these stories describing agony and unbearable pain. I know pain is subjective but I just can’t comprehend how this procedure could create such pain. My doctor talked me through it and it was over in minutes. I had some very mild cramping for a couple hours later and some light bleeding (1 pad) throughout the day. I had an endocervical biopsy 4 years ago and was unprepared as it was a decision made by my doc at a routine exam. The procedure was explained but I was caught off guard and would say it was just about the same as what I experienced today. I would suggest women facing this exam ask your doctor to talk you through it, do your deep breathing and know it’s brief. Be brave, you can do it!! Try not to let the horror stories frighten you as everyone has different perceptions. Please don’t avoid this important diagnostic procedure….it could save your life!
sabinesSeptember 1, 2017
I’m happy to hear this. I think a lot depends on the doctor and your pain tolerance. My pain was bearable and I was totally unprepared for this procedure. My doctor didn’t make a big deal about it. She treated it sort of like a pap smear. Maybe that helped. Thank you for sharing your experience. I really appreciate it.
paulaSeptember 30, 2020
I had this procedure done two days ago, for post-menopausal bleeding and a thickened lining at 53. I am still shaking and traumatized. I was given NO warning by either by PCP or the gynecological oncologist of what to expect … wasn’t even advised to take ibuprofen or anything in advance. I have never had children. I, too, was told the lie of “you’ll feel cramping, like from a period.” No anesthesia. The pain for me was excruciating. I sobbed, screamed, cursed, writhed, and hyperventilated through the whole thing, and came damn near to passing out and throwing up afterwards. I can still hardly bear to think about it in depth; letting my mind move in that direction causes a physiological post-stress reaction of nausea and pulse racing. I felt tortured, betrayed, and humiliated by the tears that streamed down my face and the expletives that I was literally screaming, but the pain literally stripped me of any and all control. I’ve had multiple surgeries in my life, broken bones, and so on, and have plenty of reason to think my tolerance for pain is high. This was not “pressure.” This was not “discomfort.” This was not “cramping.” This was pure agony.
Afterwards, the gynecologist apologized for “having to cause [me] pain” and told me I’d been “very brave” and that some women “have to have general anesthesia” for the procedure. Far from feeling comforted, I felt — and still feel — furious. That was an option? Why was it not offered to me? Why was I given no pain medication in advance?
I have spent some time each day since researching this on the web. While it is true that some women seem to tolerate this procedure with minimal pain, for many, as for me, the experience is horrific. If you are one of the lucky ones, **PLEASE** do not assume that what you felt is what other women feel, or that we are just being dramatic. I am terrified of cancer — my mother died horribly from it — but I honestly don’t know that I could ever make myself go through this again without being knocked out first. It was that bad. I am so angry that this procedure is regularly inflicted on women without any pain management, as if our pain somehow doesn’t count. Even typing this, I feel myself on the verge of tears, and the nausea rising.
I have not been able to find anything that explains *WHY* anesthesia or sedation is not standard for this procedure, especially given the number of anecdotal accounts on the web (and from the doctors and nurses who perform it) about the number of women for whom the pain is excruciating. This is not a procedure for which anesthesia would somehow invalidate the tissue samples.
Thank you for adding your voice to this topic. I hope that women will in general demand adequate pain control for this procedure, and if a particular doctor refuses to give it (or, more likely, whose office is not licensed to provide anesthesia or monitored sedation for an in-office procedure), that women will move on to try to find one who will. If I’m ever told I need another endometrial biopsy, that’s certainly my intent.
ambrlynJuly 25, 2018
I’m only replying for the sake of other women as I know this is from awhile ago…
I have a very high pain tolerance. Like, I fractured my hip and ran 2 miles in under 12 minutes a few days later. I have had other procedures such as a large needle shoved through scar tissue in my foot, multiple times, and it was intense, but I handled it. But today I had a Pap smear, a uterine biopsy then the Mirena insertion. I’m glad I did it all together because after the biopsy, I think I would have never gone back for the IUD. I survived the whole thing. Thankfully my Dr is very skilled, efficient and kind, so I don’t feel traumatized. I took 10 mg of Vicodin beforehand having been warned about pain. In full disclosure, I am a sexual assault survivor, so pain might be intensified for psychological reasons, but again, my Dr made me feel very taken care of, so I did okay emotionally.
With all this said, I WAS NOT PREPARED for the intense, severe, sharp, hard cramping during the procedure(s). I NEVER scream, yell or even make an audible groan when I’m in pain and yet several times I, I don’t know how to describe it, but I whimpered and groaned in pain and I kept thinking it wouldn’t last, but it didn’t subside as quickly as I expected. I think if I hadn’t had the Vicodin, I would have laid on the table and cried after it was over. I don’t usually cry after intense pain until hours later when I’m in my safe place. But I could not get up right away. I was sweating profusely and felt sick. Usually I want to get the hell up and put on my clothes and move on. Instead, I just laid there, stunned and disassociating as much as I could. I finally after 15 minutes felt I could move. I slowly got up and dressed and sat down, still sweating and feeling sick.
So, yes, pain is subjective, but if this is a painful procedure for you, you are NOT alone and you are not “drama”. Demand pain meds, even though they really only take the edge off, its better than nothing.
I’d like to see a dude get a vasectomy with no pain medicine. Or maybe they could burn off some of his colon polyps without any anesthesia at all. I swear if men had uteruses, these procedures would be described as excruciating and anesthesia would be front and center. When are women Doctors going to stop telling us the same lies male Doctors and pharmaceutical companies tell us?
sabinesJuly 26, 2018
Thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry you had to go through with this and I’m really sorry about the sexual assault you experienced. That is horrible! It makes my blood boil every time I read one of these comments. Women shouldn’t have to endure any of this? And the downplaying of this procedure really pisses me off. Yesterday, I went in for my annual pap smear and I felt really uncomfortable. Lying there brought back all kinds of bad memories. Sending you some positive vibes. Hope your mind and body can heal. God bless.
Deb HSeptember 26, 2018
I have had several endometrial biopsies in the past 5 years due to post menopausal bleeding. They were very uncomfortable, but tolerable. Slight cramping after. Last night I had another one & it was horrible. And pure hell after. I went home & cried in pain. My inside hurt terribly. I passed out from the excruciating pain. All my procedures were done by the same (male) doctor. I felt that if I had a female gynecologist, I might not have to go thru this, but after reading there posts. That wouldn’t have mattered. Thanks to everyone for there stories. You have helped me feel emotionally better today
LindaDecember 14, 2018
I had a terrible. It hurt like hell I almost past put. I will never do that again. Why would a DR ever put someone through that is beyond me!!!
sabinesDecember 14, 2018
Linda, I’m so sorry your experience was painful. I know how you feel and I ask myself the same question. Hope you feel better soon.
SherrySeptember 27, 2018
Hi,I had an endometrial biopsy done yesterday.I had read reviews and was really nervous.My experience was not bad at all.My Doctor is at Vanderbilt and she is great.She talked to me during the whole procedure and told me if I was going to feel pressure etc.I really believe it all depends on your Doctor and the size instrument they use.I bled a little on two shields and that was all.It was like having a pap but a little more pressure.I took three ibuprofens and 25mg pill for anxiety.I also felt a little crampy afterwards but not much.I have never given birth and I am fifty four.I hope this helps someone else be more comfortable.I am also a breast cancer survivor so please have your mammograms and do the endometrial biopsy it just may save your life.
Kelly JoyceDecember 12, 2018
Thank you! I really needed to read your post. I am scheduled for a biopsy on Friday and I have started crying just reading about the experience of others .
sabinesDecember 12, 2018
Kelly, thank you for reading my little blog. I hope your experience will be much better and a lot less painful. Please do come back and share. Good luck on Friday.
KSeptember 16, 2017
I had a biopsy yesterday. I had no idea to expect such pain. I was grabbing a hold of the ultrasound screen. My bottom coming up off the table. There was no getting away from it once was in process. I had no idea! When it was finished which seemed like never I felt all the blood leave my head and thought I would faint. My body trembled. It was traumatized for sure. I wasn’t ready and it took me awhile to get my clothes on. I should have been told to have a driver. I was like one commenter who said they cried. My body naturally started to cry. I felt very vulnerable and I needed a driver. My husband would have come but it was 25 minutes away and he was home with our child. So scary. Thanks for writing about this. Its cathartic writing about my experience.
sabinesSeptember 16, 2017
I’m sorry for the pain you had to endure. I feel we had a similar reaction. I, too, almost fainted as my body trembled. I was nauseous and white as a sheet. I agree, having someone with you would have helped. I cried in the car and felt very shaky. Hope you were able to get some rest. Thank you for sharing your story.
Irene Y VershinOctober 23, 2017
Hello everyone: I thought I should write something about my experience as it was very positive. I was horrified by all the scary comments on many blogs and postponed my procedure for a month because of my fear. I asked to be sedated and my GYN said it was not an option. I then spoke with my primary care and told him about my fears. He gave me Avitan to be taken before my biopsy to control anxiety and prescribed a low does of pain medication. I made an appointment immediately, and my GYN gave me paracervical block (shot). I barely felt anything. I did breath through my nose. I also applied anti vertigo OTC oil and kept smelling my wrists while I was taking deep breaths. She then put in the catheter to measure the length of my uterus. I didn’t feel anything. Then she used a tool to collect the sample. This whole procedure took a few minutes. No cramping or pain. I started my period the same day as expected so I am just waiting for results. My advice is to ask for the anti-anxiety medication and for stronger pain meds. I had a very positive experience.
sabinesOctober 23, 2017
Irene, so good to hear that yours was a positive experience. This gives me (and others) hope in case we have to do it again. I have a feeling you have a kind and considerate doctor. I wasn’t offered any pain medication before or after, nor did I receive a paracervical block. It appears you were well prepared and informed. I’m happy to hear it was painless. Thank you for sharing… I appreciate it so much.
hmcrabtreeNovember 14, 2017
I was terrified of having one, since I have a fibroid and I figured they’d want to make sure nothing was cancerous. I had a uterine ultrasound this morning to check on its size and before I knew it, no pain meds or Xanax taken, the doctor told me he wanted to to an EB. I had the ultrasound done by him, not a tech. My fears were coming true and I asked if it was necessary but he said we just need to rule that out. I lie back, and if he did any numbing it was fast and I didn’t feel it. He had me cough which I knew was to help place the clamp on, and it did not hurt. Then the dilation began but it was like kind of bad cramps. I was scared because I’ve never had a baby. Then the device went up in and I felt him going back and forth with it to get the sample but it just felt odd and crampy, not painful. Then he said that was it. They gave me a pad. They asked me if I could sit up and I said yes, I was just burning up hot, so they said oh no, lie back down til that passes. The nurse talked with me a bit, then I felt a little cooler, she said my color was back, and I could get dressed. I was fine but after being in the car a few minutes I felt like I could be sick but I wasn’t, but that passed. Then I went grocery shopping and had some bleeding but am fine. It’s over and it wasn’t worth the worry. I’m sorry some people had such pain but everyone is different. Overall it was medium-bad cramps and only lasted a few minutes.
sabinesNovember 15, 2017
So happy to hear yours was a positive (sort of painless) experience. Thank you for sharing.
DawnDecember 13, 2017
Today I had an endometrial biopsy due to irregular bleeding. Doc told me she wanted to schedule a biopsy but I didn’t want to wait. I remember my mom telling me she had one done and the pain was horrific. She said she turned white as a sheet. I just wanted to get it over with. I asked the doc if she could do it today that I just wanted to get it over with! She looked very shocked and said she would check the schedule. She came back in and said they could preform it. She said there would be discomfort and cramping and she would give me 800 mg of Motrin. I told myself just get it over with! The assistant brought in the Motrin and doc came in a minute later to do the biopsy. Motrin had no time to kick in. All I can say is I will never have it done again! My lower body saw shaking uncontrollably and the doc kept asking, is it painful? Are you in pain? I read a review before going in about that particular Center. They explained it as mid- evil torture. Now I’m wondering if she was actually getting off on it. I hear some places give a numbing injection prior? Afterwards I was very dizzy and nauseous and thought I was going to die. I didn’t understand what my body was going through. Doc apologized and said there’s really no way to prepare women for this procedure. I asked the assistant for water. It took about 5 minutes of laying there to feel good enough to get dressed. Just wanted to lay in bed all day. I’m glad I did not read these posts beforehand!
sabinesDecember 15, 2017
Ugh sounds similar to my experience. Hope you’re feeling better. Thank you for sharing your story.
Jan HutchinsonFebruary 10, 2018
I felt the same as Cassie. This has been a nightmare.
I was 51 years old, I was still having menstrual periods and had been having them two to three weekly for a few months, in December the period lasted nine days and Infelt mybabdomen was a bit swollen, I had never had any children and had never seen a gynaecologist until 11th January this year. I had an ultrasound which showed a fibroid on the wall of the uterus, then I went to see a doctor, he did not introduce himself and looked at me as though I was abnormal when I said I had no children. I wish I had left there and then.
The doctor said he was going to examine me and take a sample. He did not explain what he was going to do at all. He asked me to cough and there was a severe javelin like pain, I screamed and jumped as the pain was unexpected. I bled that day and the following day had terrible abdominal pain, this settled a bit the next day and we were travelling to Spain on holiday the day after. I checked with the doctor and my own GP who said that would be fine. However, five days after the procedure, I developed severe pain radiating up under my ribs, towards my pain and down my thighs. I had to fly home early from holiday and visited two Spanish hospitals while I was there.
On arrival back in the U.K., the pain worsened and I called one one one who arranged an appointment at the Urgent Care Centre. Blood was found in my urine and now I need a referral to a urologist. Gynae are denying that they caused this, but I had no blood in my urine prior to this procedure.
I had a MRI scan and a hysteroscopy and endometrial biopsy under general anaesthetic last week. The procedure went OK, I had very heavy bleeding last weekend with clots and felt dizzy when I sat up. I felt fine the day after the procedure and did too much that day! the bleeding stopped after a week and I have sought advice from healthcare professionals as needed but I have had some discomfort this week, tenderness and abdominal swelling, ten days after the procedure.
I feel as though I have been in pain for over a month now! Prior to this, I was very athletic, I swam two hundred lengths a week, cycled most days, ran a community dance group and at present, my activities have been restricted due to the discomfort.
I received the MRI scan result which just stated I had a seven centimetre fibroid.
I am still awaiting the biopsy result, but there is no way I could contemplate any further procedures. I am also awaiting a referral to a Urologist too due to the blood in my urine.
sabinesFebruary 12, 2018
My dear Jan, you’ve been through hell and back. Just wow! Trying to wrap my head around the fact that the doctor did the biopsy without even telling you what to expect. That is just awful. I’m praying for your recovery and for you to return to your active, vibrant lifestyle. Thank you for taking the time to comment and for giving us insight into how this procedure is handled in the UK. God bless you!
Jan HutchinsonFebruary 12, 2018
Thanks Sabines, I think I have had a lot of bad luck. I keep hoping I will be better tomorrow. I went to my GP again today, there was still blood in my urine, so I really need to see a urologist. I’ll let you know what transpires.
Maria HarringtonFebruary 28, 2018
Thank you so much, Sabines, for posting your story. My doctor completely downplayed the procedure. Yesterday I went in for what I thought I was just a follow up appointment to discuss my ultrasound results. (I’ve been having very heavy periods.) I was asked to sign a consent form as soon as I sat down in the exam room. I was taken by surprise and signed it without having a clue what the procedure was all about – very stupid of me, I should have asked more questions. The process took a few minutes and was very painful! As the doctor walked out of the room she casually mentioned that I should take my time getting dressed because I would probably experience dizziness (what??!!) I left feeling light-headed. Today, the day after, I got extremely shaky and dizzy at work and the pain remains – sharp, burning and a heaviness. I started crying earlier and now I’m crying again as I write this. I am so glad I found your post because I feel now like I’m not alone – others have gone through it as well and understand what it’s like. Thank you!
sabinesMarch 1, 2018
Each comment to this post makes me shiver and gives me goosebumps. Thank you, Maria, for sharing your experience. It sounds a lot like mine. Neither of our doctors prepared us for this procedure and they both downplayed it. It’s all wrong, in my opinion. Hope you’re feeling better. Sending good vibes your way.
CindyJune 18, 2018
I just got my results back and everything is NORMAL as far as the biopsy, though I think I have a UTI after all the poking, prodding and scraping, sigh…As I said before, there’s got to be a better way 🙂
sabinesJune 19, 2018
Cindy, I’m so happy to hear about your Normal results.. really good news and a huge relief. I know how you feel. But the UTI due to poking, slashing, prodding… not ok. So unnecessary and painful.
melancholyloveMarch 11, 2018
Before I had my procedure I did research online and watched 3d videos online because my doctor was not very informative about it and downplayed it. I was told the same to take ibuprofen before coming in. First and foremost everyone is different and we all experience pain differently. I can only speak from my very own personal experience. I am glad I did my research. For one I am very sensitive and have pain when I get my yearly pap smear done and I tend to have painful menstrual cramping. So I knew to be prepared for what was coming. I forgot to take anything before I got there so they gave me 4 advil. Before my endometrial biopsy I had a vaginal ultrasound(which was also very uncomfortable since again I tend to be tender). My husband drove me there and went in with me for support. My doctor was great at explaining everything he was doing during the procedure. I kept taking deep breaths to help me stay calm but let’s face it pain is pain. Though the actual part where he takes what he needs is somewhat quick the intense pain is there and I thought I was going to break my husbands hand and hard as I was squeezing. I laid on the bed for about a min. just to gather my thoughts and calm myself because I had tears rolling down my face. As the Dr. and nurse walked out they tell me I handled it pretty darn good. All I could think was in comparison to? That is when I knew they downplay this procedure and they should warn people and be more honest about it. The minute I got dressed and started walking I felt menstrual like cramps. My husband decided to drive our car to the front of the hospital to get me instead of me walking across to the parking lot. Every minute my cramps were getting more intense. On our drive home which was a 30ish min. drive my cramps got unbearable I laid my seat all the way down and got into a fetal position and could not get comfortable. I had never endured this type of pain in my entire life and I have had 2 kids(epidural) and couple of surgeries. I did not realize that due to the pain I started to hyperventilate and got vasovagal syncope. I had cold sweat, dizzy, tingling, nausea, faint. I could barely talk. Obviously what I took had not kicked in and when it did it still was not enough to mask the pain. My husband ended up taking me to an urgent care where they gave me zofran for nausea and a pain killer. 4 days later I am still having mild cramps, spotting and tender in my abdominal/pelvic area. Moral of the story is in my opinion this procedure should be explained thoroughly by your doctor. We are all different and have different levels of pain tolerance. Hurting or not hurting more than another person does not make you stronger or weaker. This is a procedure that you have to experience and make judgement of on your own. I know that I am glad that I did my research and glad that I had someone drive me home because there is no way I would have been able to drive myself home safely. I wish you all positive vibes and good news on your results.
sabinesMarch 13, 2018
Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope you are feeling better. I, too, believe doctors tend to downplay this procedure. My doctor made it compared it to a papsmear. Told me I would feel a little pressure. No mention of pain, cramping, nausea, dizziness, etc. They need to be honest and better prepare women. This is no minor procedure and shouldn’t be downplayed.
Tanya C.March 19, 2018
I went for the Mirena insert and my OBGYN wanted to also do a biopsy. I was not prepared for the pain and we didn’t even get it done! He couldn’t get past my cervix in spite of trying a few different things. He thinks one of my fibroids is in the way. So he wants too do an ultrasound and then try again based on what he sees.
I think I had what you guys are describing as a vasovagal reaction, the pain was really overwhelming and I got shaky and tearful. I cut a chink of my thumb off last year and would gladly do that multiple times compared to this.
I’m really nervous about trying again in two weeks.
Also – I’ve been thinking about the fact that if this were any other organ they were “taking a piece of” they would at least freeze it. I feel like this is symptomatic of how women’s health issues are treated and female pain is minimized.
sabinesMarch 21, 2018
Tanya, this is a painful procedure and we’re not making a big deal about nothing. We aren’t wimps and the doctors need to stop telling women this procedure is similar to a pap smear. They need to stop with the BS! And yes, women are often told to “suck it up”. Good luck to you! Hope it all ends well.
Tanya C.April 11, 2018
Second attempt still didn’t work. I have an “uncooperative cervix.” So now I get to have it done under anesthetic in hospital.
Pain this time was still pretty bad but he only tried once rather than multiple different things. Day after was horrible.
CherylMarch 20, 2018
Thanks for sharing your experience. Part of me wishes I had read your story before I went in for the biopsy and the other part of me (not my uterus) is glad I did not. I started my on-line search today because I had the biopsy done last Friday, 4 days ago and my uterus is still talking to me. It is as if the pressure, scraping and suction is still happening. The OB/GYN is not sure if she has enough tissue sample for the biopsy and what I am sure of is she will not get a second chance. I thought maybe I was being a “wimp”. Now I know that I am not.
sabinesMarch 21, 2018
Cheryl, I did the same. I, too, started my on-line search after I had my biopsy. I was completely unprepared and uninformed because I didn’t know I was going to have a biopsy that day. Honestly, I don’t know I would have allowed the biopsy had I known what it entails.You are definitely not a wimp. It’s a painful procedure which most doctors downplay. Thank you for sharing your experience. Hope you’re doing better.
JennieMarch 24, 2018
I had an endometrial biopsy done on the 12 of this month. I was told it would be “slightly worse than a pap smear.” There was no numbing of the uterus, no telling me to take a pain reliever half hour before. I was not prepared. I have blacked out from pain once, and this was very close to same intensity of pain. I have a ridiculously high tolerance so that tells you lot. It felt like my intestines were beong ripped out through my vagina with searing hot pliers. It sas terrible. Never again I hope.
sabinesMarch 25, 2018
Sounds like we have the same doctor. No joke, my experience was identical to yours. It really is sad that doctors downplay this procedure.
Janet HutchinsonMarch 26, 2018
Sorry to hear someone else has endured this barbaric procedure, you are not alone.
I joined an action page on Facebook ‘Campaign against painful hysteroscopy/ Endometrial Biopsy’. Please do join us to help others from experiencing the same thing, you will find this is very common.
sabinesMarch 26, 2018
Janet, thanks for the info. I searched but the page you mentioned didn’t come up on FB. Can you give us a direct link?
Janet HutchinsonApril 2, 2018
Here is the link to the hysteroscopy / Biopsy action group on Facebook, if anyone would like to be involved in our group to prevent painful hysteroscopy/ biopsies.
sabinesApril 10, 2018
Thank you, Janet. I will add it to the post.
MGApril 18, 2018
Sabine, thank you for sharing your story. I had been loosing sleep over my procedure. I couldn’t take the stress, so I started searching the net for more information. Is this normal?
I had my biopsy two days ago because of heavy bleeding. My doctor went over the procedure and only mentioned cramping and discomfort. Lies! I screamed out in pain and told her to stop. I pulled away in horror and she asked for another sample. I said no. Her reply? “Pretty please.” How offensive. I broke down in tears! She completely disregarded my reaction to the procedure and only focused on business. Through my tears, I said the procedure was over. She then instructed me to resume my position so she could remove the “tools”. Afterward, I rolled over in pain and with fear, reeling over what had just happened to me. I was nauseous, weak, and felt violated. She put her “tools” away and followed with instructions. Never once looking at me or acknowledging my horror. Cold. Obtuse. She actually appeared to be annoyed with me by saying that the sample wasn’t large enough and that the results may return inconclusive. I don’t give a sh*t! I’m not going through that again. I told her she should have used anesthetic. Her reply was it’s not typical. What? So you could have used it? You didn’t even offer me the choice?! She walked out of the examining room and I never saw her again. The nurse came in with ibuprofen and thought she was being helpful by teasing me. Aw! Poor baby. You didn’t realize it was going to hurt. You’re crying. Poor baby. She tried hugging me and I asked her to leave. I will never return to that doctor. I am now armed with knowledge and will demand that medical professionals speak to me frankly about procedures and not condescend my humanity. If my doctor can’t look me in the eyes, then hell if I’m going to let them look me in my vagina!
sabinesApril 21, 2018
Your doctor is horrible. I’m so sorry she put you through hell. I wonder if she ever had this procedure done on her. Honestly, both doctor and nurse should be reported. Reading this makes me so mad… but Karma is a bitch. Wishing you a speedy recovery and thank you for sharing your experience. 🙂
Andrea BeckertApril 18, 2018
I just had this done today. I had unexplained fluid in my uterus. They went in to drain and get tissue for biopsy. This was the most excruciating pain. It felt like they were sucking my uterus out. This was until my bp dropped and I passed out on the table. They kept me and really took good care of me after but I wished I would have known it was even possible to be that bad. They took out a chocolate cyst. They are still testing but they are sure it’s from endometriosis. Dr said absolutely no more in office procedures. Next time anesthesia is a must.
sabinesApril 21, 2018
Oh my god, that’s horrible. When will they realize this is not a “nothing” procedure? To think so many doctors compare this to a pap smear. That’s a joke, right? Hang in there, Andrea. Sending prayers your way.
karlizwa67April 26, 2018
Thank you for sharing your experience Sabine. I just had my third endometrial biopsy yesterday. I had forgotten about my vasovagal response during the last procedure, about a year ago. It happened again this time around. Not fun. Not fun at all. I had forgotten about the pain too. Oh boy. I do like my gyn doc. She is very caring, however, I do wish that I was advised to take some pain meds prior to the procedure. Someone commented on the pain as ‘searing’ and that is how I would describe it. Sucking air through my teeth and repeatedly saying ‘ow…ow…ow’. She kept saying sorry…I knew it had to be done. Then the intense sweating and nausea. She had me continue to lie down, tilted the table back a bit, and had a nurse bring in some advil and tylenol. I took both. The doc told me to stay there as long as I needed. . I lied there for about 10 minutes. Went home and had to lie down for a couple of hours. Kept feeling crampy and exhausted. I feel much better today. Your post and comments from all of the other ladies really helps.
sabinesApril 27, 2018
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Searing pain, sweating, nausea, seem to be a common misery of this procedure. Happy to hear you’re feeling better.
SRRApril 27, 2018
I decided to leave a comment because I was terrified to have the biopsy done. The thought of having the procedure made me break out into a sweat! I read several reviews (some horrific and some not so bad). I became obsessed with reading reviews and didn’t think I was going to be able to go through with it.
When I went in for an annual, the doctor ordered an ultrasound and then wanted to do the biopsy. I was shocked because I wasn’t expecting to do a biopsy so I declined. A few weeks later, I decided to schedule another appointment because I didn’t want this to be the biggest mistake of my life.
I am 41 years old, married, and have three sons. I’m not nervous about having cancer, but I did begin to worry want if I did. Many people that did this procedure without much pain took medications, so one hour before the procedure, I took 800mg of Motrin and .5 mg of Xanax. A half hour before the procedure I took a Vicodin and a 0.25 Xanax. I also ate two eggs, toast, crackers, and almonds to ensure I wouldn’t vomit because I’m not used to taking medications. When the procedure started, I still was nervous but I felt like I could follow through with it. The doctor did a pelvic exam, and then used the speculum to open the vagina. I asked him not to use the tanuculum (based on my research, I think this is what’s hurting women). He said he would try without it. He then inserted the curette and moved it around for ten seconds in the uterus. I did squeeze my husband’s hand, but I did not feel any sharp pains just something moving around. It was an odd sensation, but I wouldn’t say that it hurt.
I believe the medicine and not using the tanaculum made this procedure comfortable. I could do it again if I replicated everything took.
I truly hope this helps other women because I understand how terrifying it is especially after reading other women’s experience.
sabinesApril 28, 2018
Thank you for sharing your experience. This is great info for us women . I wish doctors would explain this procedure better and give women options (pain medications, tanaculum, etc.). I will for sure keep this in mind if I ever have to go through this procedure again. I’m so grateful to all the women who have shared their experience with the biopsy on my little blog. Thank you for reading and commenting.
SRRApril 28, 2018
I left a long comment yesterday about my experience yesterday. Why didn’t you want to post it?
sabinesApril 28, 2018
I just did. Thank you for reading and commenting. Means a lot to me.
thefluffystruggleMay 3, 2018
I had my endometrial Biopsy today. My doctor offered to do procedure under sedation or in office. I chooses to do it in office. She told me it is not a fun/comfortable procedure but necessary for my symptoms.
I got all worked up expecting thee worse.
I have to say, yes it was extremely uncomfortable and the cramping was pretty terrible. The worse part lasts about two minutes. This evening I have been having moderate bleeding and moderate cramping. I took Midol one hour before my appointment and have been staying on top of it.
It was uncomfortable/painful but I would say it’s was tolerable. My doctor said I handle it like a trooper. I did experience the sweaty and shaking afterwards. Ice water was my friend for sure.
sabinesMay 4, 2018
I’m amazed your doctor offered an option to do this procedure. Every doctor should offer this, in my opinion. Also, interesting how many women feel the shaking/nausea, sweating afterwards. I’m happy to hear your experience wasn’t horrible. Thank you so much for sharing.
LydiaMay 4, 2018
This procedure is horrendous. Its disgusting what’s deemed ‘ok’ without any pain meds or anesthesiaof any kind. I went in Tuesday, haf it done, bled brownish for 2days now I’m bleeding like stuck pig assuming it triggered my period 5days early, with nausea from hell and cramping I cannot comprehend. So anyone getting that procedure- take pain meds before. Please. I literally threw up after wards from pain.
sabinesMay 4, 2018
Ugh!! I’m so sorry you had to endure this. Hope you feel better soon and thank you for sharing.
DebbieMay 13, 2018
I had post menopausal spotting, made an appointment, and had a reg checkup. I was scheduled for an ultrasound and uterine biopsy for the next week. I was not prepared whatsoever. Nothing. It turned out that I had endometrial adenocarcinoma, and I was referred to a gynecologist Oncologist. I can honestly say that my robotic hysterectomy was nothing compared to the uterine biopsy. I can’t desribe the pain. I only know that when I told my Oncologist at my 3 mos checkup that nothing about my surgery was as bad as the biopsy he just shook his head.
sabinesMay 14, 2018
Debbie, thank you so much sharing your horrific experience. Yes, so many doctors downplay this procedure. Mine compared it to a pap smear. It blows my mind every time I think about it. There needs to be a change in how doctors go about this biopsy.
Courtney BaileyMay 14, 2018
I am having a hysterectomy next week at the age of 40. I have had surgery 4 times on my fibroids that like to keep on growing to the size of grapefruits, so my doctor decided it’s probably in my best interest to do a hysterectomy instead of surgeries every 5 years. I agree!
But then, he said – “let’s do an endometrial biopsy to rule out cancer first”. I felt like he totally downplayed this. Honestly i have had procedures on my ovaries and previously mentioned fibroids and this procedure still had me rattled after 5 days! First of all I attempted gripping a flat wall out if pure pain, I would rather break a bone than have that done again. Plus – I spotted for days after.
I really do think that some sort of local or at least a pamphlet needs to be handed out prior. I have made sure to pass the words along to all my girlfriends, I really appreciate you posting this, now I know I’m not a sissy.
sabinesMay 14, 2018
Good lord, you’ve been through a lot. The last thing you needed was a painful biopsy. Unfortunately, this procedure is downplayed by so many doctors. No, you’re not a sissy. If anything, a very strong woman who has had to put up with a lot of crap. I wish you all the best and a quick recovery. Thank you for taking the time to comment. It’s much appreciated.
LisaMay 15, 2018
Advice: Take a muscle relaxer and ibuprofen 1 to 1 1/2 hours before procedure. I took pain meds and it did nothing to help . although my pain was already bad enough to land me in the Emergency room 2 days prior to biopsy so maybe that is why it hurt so much.
sabinesMay 15, 2018
I wish I would have known about this.
KJMay 15, 2018
Hi, I sort of stopped having a period so the OB/GYN wanted me to get this biopsy. I am on tamoxifen after double mastectomy, so I’m at risk. I did not know what to expect but was told that it could be uncomfortable and there would be cramping. It was uncomfortable and gross but frankly, I did not experience any pain. I wanted to share this story because a while back,when I did get a UID put it, I was in a lot of pain. It seemed like unusual pain because my doctor was surprised at how much pain I was in. I also have experienced so much pain during pap smears that I once was asked if I experienced sexual trauma (nope). All this to say is that I’m not necessarily a pain tolerant or relaxed person. Like another woman earlier, maybe because I had no time to prepare and the OB/GYN downplayed it, I was relaxed. In other instances, I was probably super tense. If you are are searching for experiences to prepare yourself and just see the horrifying ones (so sorry ladies for all your terrible painful experiences), you may be reluctant to get the biopsy. As someone was was completely shocked to be diagnosed with breast cancer (it didn’t behave like breast cancer, doctors said they were 99% sure it was not but just in case….), I’m hoping that people aren’t so scared that they won’t get this done. Thank you for all the stories, I’m positive I’ll have to get another one of these at some point (yippee) and it’s likely that I will experience more pain. I wish I could say what made the difference for me but I really don’t know. But, I’m a big believer in biopsies!
sabinesMay 15, 2018
KJ, thank you for taking the time to comment. I find these comments very educational, uplifting and supportive. I get what you’re saying. Sometimes it’s better not to have all the details… it keeps us from getting super tense. On the other hand, comparing the biopsy to a pap smear ( my doctor did that) is flat out lying. Some women nearly pass out. I’m happy to hear your biopsy was tolerable. We’re all different as are our bodies. I still think they should at least numb the area. If dentists can offer numbing for teeth cleaning, why can’t we get some relief during a biopsy? I wish you all the best and thank you for reading here.
JenniferMay 21, 2018
I appreciate your sharing your story Sabine and it resonated with me and makes me want to share my situation- as it seems to have done with many other here.
I was on tamoxifen for a little over 4 years and recently switched to Femara. I started having brownish/red-ish vaginal drainage and did not hesitate to get in quickly to my OB/GYN. She examined me and I was not bleeding but given my history and medications wanted to do an endometrial biopsy that day.
I am a nurse and worked in surgery so I knew what was coming technically. My doctor said this is painful- there is no other way to describe this & you are going to hate me for about 3 minutes while you have cramping that can be severe- would you like a hand-holder?
Wow- I was not thinking I would have that much discomfort and declined the handholder. Grabbing my cervix with the tenaculum was awful- I tried not to move and take slow deep breaths- she took samples 2 times and was reassuring me through the whole thing- it felt just like what it is- dragging something around in your uterus to sample tissue. I had to have a silver nitrate stick applied as there was a fair amount of bleeding.
Its now 3 days later and I am still bleeding every time I pee and feel crampy and “off”. I know I am at high risk for endometrial cancer so I know the discomfort is outweighed by knowing what is going on- awaiting pathology results.
sabinesMay 21, 2018
Thank you for sharing, Jennifer. The pain is real and I feel for you. At least your doctor was honest. Wishing you a speedy recovery and sending prayers that everything comes back negative.
MeganMay 23, 2018
I had one last night ~ more painful this morning than it was last night
sabinesMay 23, 2018
Ugh! Sorry to hear, Megan. Hope you’re feeling better soon.
TammyMay 30, 2018
I had a biopsy a week ago for thickened endometrium. I also have Ankylosing Spondylitis, so lower back pain is a daily issue. I was not advised to take any pain relievers before, but I do take some daily for my back, so she figured that was enough. Dr. Had trouble getting thru my cervex and said she needed to clamp it. OMG. That was awful. I was counting to get thru it. She finished as quickly as possible and had me sit up. I immediately felt awful, like I was going to pass out. She said I was having a vaso vagal response. I felt lousy the rest of the day, but seemed better, although crampy the next. Two days after the procedure I woke to horrible lower back pain. Thought I would have to go to the er. Doctor advised me to take 12 ibuprofen and 6 Tylenol a day, alternating between the two. It helped, but here I am a week later and still having issues and pain. The cramping of my uterus may have aggravated my Ankylosing Spondylitis, but this still sucks. I go back in another week for an ultrasound, but may go sooner if this pain does not let up. I am watching the clock to see when I can take pills again. That is not normal. 🙁
sabinesJune 3, 2018
Tammy, I’m so sorry for all your pain. I hear lots of women feel dizzy and nauseous after the procedure. Someone said it’s shock. I hope your pain lets up soon. Good luck and thank you for sharing.
MelissaJune 7, 2018
2018 and seeing this after my endometrial biopsy and I went through the same exact garbage. I felt like a cow that was poked broded, wam Bam and I was not ok. Was completely unaware of the details of what was going to happen and the pain was horrific .I too felt the dizzy shaky clammy stuff and cried, I felt like the Dr was an insesnsitive witxh and could have warned me. I could hear the loud scraping and metal clinking and wanted it to stop and she said almost done. I didn’t know anything but did sign some waiver and was like WTH is thos, the ultrasound lady said oh u just need to sign the waiver before the procedure. I read that possible uterine prefereation was possible and I thought wow, sounds far ou twas actually told it’s a lot like a papsmear and they would take a little bit of tissue sample. Oh okay. No they completely understated the pain and experience comolcompl.
MelissaJune 7, 2018
I got horrible cramps after and had a near accidental bowl, diareah and nausea. I had a lot canal once and the Dr was surprised it came out with one good yank and sat next up too fast and I went into shock and this was exactly how I felt after the endometrial biopsy.
sabinesJune 7, 2018
Melissa, that is exactly the issue I have. They downplay the pain/procedure and don’t offer any details about possible consequences. Both you and i were told this procedure feels like a papsmear. That is a complete lie. I was left alone afterwards and almost passed out. Is it because women wouldn’t have it done if they knew the truth? I read somewhere that the average national cost for an endometrial biopsy is around $1,000. So maybe it’s all a money thing. Here’s an interesting article: https://www.naturalnews.com/025159_cancer_biopsy_risks.html
LoriJune 7, 2018
Hi, I had an endometrial biopsy on Tuesday June 5th. I tried to convince myself it wouldn’t be bad. Boy was I wrong. The pain was unreal. I cried the whole time. Bled the fist day. Next day no bleeding but bad cramping felt worse lower stomach feels bloated and puffy. Today, Thursday the 7th I still feel crampy. Woke up at 6am went to the bathroom and there was blood again and still crampy. Don’t know if this is normal so will call my doctor later. I don’t understand why they don’t explain things correctly and brush it off like it’s nothing. It’s definitely not right. Also should explain better what to expect after and for a few days so people don’t worry that what they are experiencing isn’t normal. Definitely not the walk in the park they make it out to be.
sabinesJune 7, 2018
Lori, why does this keep happening to women? Why don’t doctors inform us and tell the truth? You should have been told if bleeding the next day is normal or not. This just makes me so mad. I hope you’re ok. Get better soon and thank you for sharing.
TammyJune 7, 2018
Results came back as hyperplasia with atypia and Endometrial adenocarcinoma. I will be having a complete hysterectomy. On the bright side, that means no more endometrial biopsies ever. Seriously, as miserable as the experience was, the doctor says they caught it very early because of the biopsy, so to others out there- don’t let the fear keep you from having the procedure. Yes, it sucks. Cancer sucks more.
AnnaJune 7, 2018
I had my endometrial biopsy yesterday. I was surprised how painful it was. I took misoprostol the night before to dilate my cervix but apparently I have a tiny cervix so my doctor had to pry it open with the speculum. I was swearing, yelling, and white knuckling it on the table. The actual biopsy wasn’t as bad as the cervix propping. Also, the doctor put a heating pad on my belly which helped with the cramps during the procedure (I highly recommend). My entire body was in fight or flight mode and at one point the pain was so bad, I tried shimmying away from the doctor. It’s not the worst pain I’ve ever felt but it’s one of the top pains. Thank you so much for writing about this!
sabinesJune 8, 2018
Anna, thank you for sharing. Sorry, you had to go through this. The pain sucks!
AnnJune 11, 2018
I just had this done a few hours ago. I had the same exact reaction. After the excruciating pain during the biopsy (my cervix would not dilate which made it worse) I had to lay on the table. I was sweating profusely and nauseous and gagging. They gave me some juice to sip on. I had to wait about 20 minutes before I could make it to my car. Needless to say, I’ve never given birth but this was the most painful experience of my life! One week for results
sabinesJune 13, 2018
Thank you for sharing, Ann. Just wondering, did your doctor downplay the procedure? Did he/she explain the nausea, sweating, etc.? Hope you’re feeling better.
AnnJune 15, 2018
Totally downplayed the procedure! They told me to take 2 ibuprofen an hour prior. It did absolutely nothing. I’ve neber had such a reaction that pain like that before. It took me a good 24 hours to feel back to normal (minus the cramping). My body just felt wiped out. There really has to be a better way and if not, they need to offer an anesthetic with this procedure. Hoping for my results next week. Wishing everyone here a painfree experience going forward!
sabinesJune 16, 2018
“My body just felt wiped out” is a very good description of how most of us feel after this biopsy.
AnnJune 25, 2018
Got my results finally. They also found a polyp so I’m going to have a d & c done soon. Hope this helps my issues!
sabinesJune 26, 2018
So sorry, Ann. Sending you lots of positive vibes and I’ll pray for a quick recovery.
SerenaJune 12, 2018
I’m facing a biopsy in 2 weeks Pap smears are very uncomfortable for me because of tipped uterus. My biggest worry I had double knee replacements that don’t been past 90 degrees my family practitioner has a REALLY hard time doing a pap now because of it. I’m worried this is gonna be awful but I’m NOT scared to walk out if I feel I’m being mistreated and demand it be done at out patient clinic where I can be put under these drs there days don’t seem to care what kinda torcher they inflict!
sabinesJune 13, 2018
Serena, I wish you the best of luck. Hope my post didn’t freak you out too much. When I had mine done, I was completely unprepared and uninformed. Never again will I have a doctor perform anything on me without thoroughly explaining the procedure, pain, side effects, etc. Good for you for being ready to walk out if things don’t seem right. I’d love to know how it goes. Check back in if you don’t mind.
SerenaJune 14, 2018
Your story didn’t freak me out female parts are very sensitive and if a pap smear is uncomfortable for 30 seconds a 5-10 minute biopsy where they go into your hard closed cervical opening into your uterus has to be painful..my Dr didn’t tell me anything but to take a pill she prescribed I looked it up and found its to soften the cervix which will cause cramping etc and I was told by a friend who’s a nurse that it’ll make my cervix very sensitive like giving birth… so we’ll see but I’m NOT afraid to demand to be put under for it..I was also told biopsies don’t always show cancer unless it’s collected closer to the area in question I was told D&C is way better at looking into female issues and doesn’t cause pain for woman!
I’ll let you know I go on the 28th
sabinesJune 15, 2018
I just looked up D&C. Never heard of it. Good to know there’s other options.
ShariJune 12, 2018
It’s nice to know others responded the way I did. I thought maybe I was wimping out. I just had the biopsy done today. My doctor told me it would be painful. I wasn’t given any sedatives or pain reliever. It was a spur of the moment thing. It was very uncomfortable and painful. I didn’t cry or scream but did my best to suck it up and deal with it, oh, and breathe. My entire body was sweating and shaky and I felt nauseous. When I got up to get my clothes I felt weak and traumatized. I felt like I could drive myself home but as I got closer to home I broke out in a cold sweat and felt like I was going to throw up. I stopped the car and laid the seat back until I felt with it enough to go on. When I got home I took a Xanax and some Advil and went to bed with thoughts of the torture of William Wallace in the movie Braveheart and imagining what women who had coat hanger abortions must have felt (still a prolife girl though). It was a horrible experience. There’s got to be a better way. If I thought there was a chance of it again, I would take painkillers and Xanax ahead of time just so I’m better prepared for a spur of the moment nightmare.
sabinesJune 13, 2018
Shari, your experience is identical to mine. How awful! And you’re right – there has to be a better, less painful way. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Means a lot to me.
Julie AJune 13, 2018
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:(.
sabinesJune 15, 2018
Ugh! So sorry, Julie. I hate that soooo many women have to go through this. A reader just brought up D&C. It’s worth looking it up. Thank you for sharing and I hope you feel better soon.
SerenaJune 18, 2018
My GYN got my gene testing back and Its positive…So WHY a biopsy other than to take advantage of my insurance and my co-pays these drs should not be allowed to do these procedures if uterine testing for the cancer gene is present you should be able to skip this the gene testing puts you at 90% risk for female cancers and forces the insurance to pay for an surgery the patient chooses!!! So I asked to just schedule surgery and they REFUSE to!!
sabinesJune 19, 2018
Wow that is so messed up! I bet endometrial biopsies are a big money maker. One has to wonder how many are truly necessary.
April ruberoJune 18, 2018
I had my eb 6 days ago and i was put to sleep.. If you gyn doesnt offer this then i would find a new gyn.. Had aome cramoing after and still bleeding 6 fays later but over all after reading all of this im sooo glad i was alseep.
sabinesJune 19, 2018
April, my doctor didn’t offer anything. I didn’t know you can be put to sleep for this biopsy. My doctor literally treated it like a pap smear. Ugh I’m furious with her. Good for you for not having to endure the pain but bleeding six days later doesn’t sound right to me. Did your doctor say this is normal?
April ruberoJune 18, 2018
Should have added that i have several fibroids and im going to have the uterus removed my gyn wanted to check for cancer before surgery . i dont know why they couldnt just remove uterus and check then but i guess taking advantage of insurance..
sabinesJune 19, 2018
Yep. An average endometrial biopsy is around $1,000. Good money for about five minutes of work, right?
Lea WebbJune 21, 2018
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!!!
sabinesJune 22, 2018
Lea, thank you for sharing. First off, I’m sorry you had to go through this. Endometrial biopsy is no joke and like you, I will never have this done again unless they put me to sleep or numb everything.
TinaJune 23, 2018
This is my first time ever posting a question on anything but I would love to know if anyone else has gone through this… I had my biopsy done yesterday morning and totally agree that the doctor downplayed the pain to me. She took for samples and it was very painful. I felt OK after words, a little cramping and a little bleeding but nothing bad at all. I went on with my day and feel better as the day went on. This morning I couldn’t seem to get out of bed, I just didn’t feel good. Can’t really describe how, just knew I didn’t feel good. As the day has gone on I am not cramping at all and not really bleeding too bad other than spotting but I’m very lightheaded and weak and tired. Has anyone else experienced this? It just seems weird that I was doing OK at this time yesterday but feel like this today?? I have plans that I have lookeded forward to for six months tonight and I’m supposed to leave in two hours but I’m not sure what I should do. Go to bed or suck it up and head out?
sabinesJune 24, 2018
Tina, I hope you’re feeling better. If not, you should definitely call your doctor. I felt weak after my biopsy… I took it easy that day. The next day I was fine.
DebbieJune 28, 2018
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.
sabinesJune 28, 2018
Holy cow, this so scary.I hope you and the people involved in the accident are ok. Why don’t doctors warn us about possible side effects? Why do they downplay this procedure? This is crazy! Debbie, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I think I’m going to write a second post to let other women know how serious this procedure really is.
KimJune 28, 2018
I had my biopsy yesterday and had a lot of stress about it. Since I never had children, the doctor prescribed misoprostol to insert in my vagina 4 hours before the procedure to soften my cervix. I was also prescribed Xanax and hydrocodone. The doctor also told me to take Advil before the procedure. When I picked up the prescriptions, the Xanax label said not to take with opioids because it can result in severe breathing problems. Well the misoprostol caused some of the worse cramping I had ever experienced. I took the Xanax and Advil which had no effect. I was afraid to take the opioid because of the warning label. Went for my appointment in severe pain and did not know how I would go through with the procedure. I took the pain meds with me. When I got there and told the doctor why I did not take them, she told me the complications were only if you have been taking both meds for awhile. So I took the pain meds and she checked on me a few times to see how I was doing. About 1 hour later we moved forward with the biopsy which was uncomfortable but not really painful. Doctor told me the procedure would have been much worse had I not taken the misoprostol. So if you never had a baby or did not have vaginal delivery, make sure you get the misoprostol and pain meds to reduce the cramping because Advil will not help in the least. Good luck to all going through this. Honestly don’t know why they can’t give you some mild sedation for this. Needlessly barbaric in this day and age. Also thanks to my husband who was with me for moral support.
sabinesJune 28, 2018
A shout out to your husband! It’s nice to have some support. I’m happy to hear your doctor advised you on how to best approach this biopsy. All doctors need to do this. And yes, sedation would be great. Kim, thank you for sharing. This is all valuable info.
SarahJune 29, 2018
I’m currently laying in my bed feeling sick and terribly after having my biopsy at noon (3 hrs ago) .i had to take the rest of the day off work and cancel a meeting because of it
I too was told it would feel like cramps…i have debilitating cramps and i can deal with those .. This was far far far worse.
Glad i came across this because it makes me feel a little less alone .
sabinesJune 30, 2018
Sarah, I feel bad for every woman who has to go through this. I’m happy to hear that reading our stories makes you feel less alone. Feel better soon and thank you for sharing. I appreciate it a ton.
LollyJuly 7, 2018
I was mistakenly told I would be having an ultrasound and was shocked when the nurse said I would actually be having a biopsy. I have had cryo done on my cervix as a teen and vividly remember the pain and puking than swiftly followed. So I told my doctor about the past experiences and she was worried and offered to do it under anesthesia until I told her I have paradoxical responses to it–I wake up during procedures and start punching! She offered a numbing shot but I remember that as its own special kind of pain and declined. She sent me down to pharmacy for anti-nausea meds and had me wait 15 minutes for it to work. Wish I had the chance to take an ibuprofen or something. She did warn me that it would not feel like a pinch, that it would hurt but I knew if I didn’t do it then, I would work myself into a panic. Pain was bad, as expected. I remember gasping in pain and the doctor saying she needed more samples ugh. After, I was left alone to get dressed which was an issue because I almost passed out and did hit a chair as I staggered. Nurse heard me and she had me lie down and got me cold compresses. Thankfully, I live less than a mile from facility and made it home ok. Called work and said no way was I coming back and cried myself to sleep. Slept 6 hours. This was 16 days ago and I still do not have results.
sabinesJuly 8, 2018
Lolly, thank you so much for sharing. Sadly, so many women go through the same agony. Also, getting results shouldn’t take this long. You might want to follow up. Best of luck to you and thank you for stopping by.
LilyJuly 7, 2018
I had my second endometrial biopsy in six months and an IUD inserted yesterday. My first EB happened during a routine office visit so I was completely unprepared for it. The doctor had to take two samples. It definitely hurt a lot but it was over relatively quickly. I had mild cramping for a couple of hours afterwards but that was it. Fast forward to yesterday’s biopsy/IUD and it was a totally different scenario. I didn’t do anything to prepare (no painkillers etc.) because the first time had gone pretty smoothly. This time, however, I was too faint/nauseous/crampy to get off the table afterwards, and had to wait 30 minutes before I could get up and drive myself home. I was also severely crampy the rest of the day. Maybe getting the IUD at the same time put me over the edge. Just goes to show you that you never know how your body is going to react!
sabinesJuly 8, 2018
Lily, you’re incredibly brave. Having the EB and IUD done at the same time sounds insanely painful. I wasn’t aware they can even do this. Thank you for sharing. I always learn something new from my readers. Best of luck to you.
LilyJuly 8, 2018
Thanks for your kind words. You know, as unpleasant as the experience was, I’m actually glad they did the IUD in the same visit because all the “prep work” had been done for the EB and it saved me from having to go through a separate procedure. It was definitely overwhelming, though.
SandraJuly 10, 2018
It was uncomfortable to be sure. I asked my husband to come with me but I drove to the office. On the way out of the office was when the pain started. I told him I couldn’t drive so he drove home. The pain was really bad on the way home and it still burns to urinate. She also didn’t mention ahead of time that I had to stay still or she could perferate my bladder. I laughed a little out of nervousness during the procedure and she said no no you have to stay still.
sabinesJuly 11, 2018
Sandra, so sorry you had to endure this. I wasn’t told about possible bladder perforation either. It’s so downplayed by doctors. Thank you for sharing and I hope you feel better soon.
Liz MaslowJuly 12, 2018
Just got home from my unexpected endometrial biopsy. I also have a high pain tolerance and delivered 3 children naturally. Nothing could have prepared me for today and I am hoping the cramping stops soon.
I can’t understand why we are not given any pain meds or something to soften the cervix. When I had my IUD inserted, I was given 800mg ibuprofen, a zanex to relax me and an injection to soften my cervix.
Today I got nothing and walked in thinking I was just getting my yearly exam. The biopsy is because my periods are irregular, but I’m 49 so shouldn’t they be irregular.
I had planned on enjoying this beautiful day by biking with my kids, but instead I am in bed looking up endometrial biopsies to see if anyone else had a similar reaction.
Thanks for sharing and helping me feel not alone.
sabinesJuly 13, 2018
Ugh! Your experience is almost identical to mine. “Surprise” biopsy, no pain med, three deliveries… Sorry your day was ruined, Liz. Feel better soon and enjoy a beautiful day with your kids.
Tamara McCantyJuly 13, 2018
You will feel better soon! I had a similar awful experience with mine. I will say, however, it is good to have the biopsy. I was having very irregular periods at age 50 and just assumed “welcome to menopause “. A biopsy picked up very early endometrial cancer. The Dr. Says they almost catch it so early, so I was glad I had it done. (I am currently 3 weeks out from a complete hysterectomy. Since they caught it so early, I don’t need any additional treatment, so that is excellent!)
sabinesJuly 15, 2018
Happy to hear this, Tamara.
Sheri ThomasJuly 13, 2018
I had my biopsy today and my old coil removed and a new one replaced .
I had it at 10.30 am today and it’s now 130 am early hours of the next day and I’m still in pain and emotional.
The biopsy was agony, I kept having cramp spasms.
I could not rise above the pain , it felt like full on contractions.
It felt like a knife going in when the Biopsy was taken.
I consider myself to be quite tough and have quite a high threshold, where pains concerned.
But it had me panicked, upset and emotional throughout the procedure.
In the end I cried ” why does it hurt so much”.
After the procedure I felt sick, hot and anxious..
I can’t remember what the consultant said at the end of the procedure, everything just felt fuzzy and a blur.
I then went to meet my partner in the waiting area , next thing I coming around on a bed with a fan on me and the consultant taking my pulse, telling me to rest until I feel well enough to go home .
I eventually left, at home now in pain and still quite emotional.
The staff were all excellent, I just was not prepared for this , I took pain relief 2 hours before but I think I needed an anesthetic.
sabinesJuly 15, 2018
I feel your pain, Sheri. That’s just it, not many of us are prepared for this painful procedure.
Katherine KingJuly 14, 2018
This is my personal story about my endometrial biopsy, I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. I had an endometrial biopsy done, on a Thursday,on a Friday night, I felt something rupture, on my right side in my pelvic are,(I am not a doctor but I think it is pretty coincidental that I had all the problems right after the procedure) that sent me into the ER, I was feeling sick, but doing okay yet, and then two weeks later, I had another rupture on my left side in my pelvic area, I lost the ability to feel hungry, drive, or walk around Walmart, I was literally at deaths door, I ended up in the ER four times in a month and a half, the second time was because something blew on my left side, and then when they hooked me up to an IV, the next morning I woke up and all the fluid settled down into my rectum, and I felt like I was sitting on a tennis ball, (so I imagine I had a hole in my veins for it to leak like that?)then when I went to the bathroom it felt like I was peaing out both ends,I lost 15 pounds in roughly a month a half since the biopsy, I had to see two PA’s three different times, and two gyn’s because the first one that did the biopsy didn’t think I was sick enough to look into it I guess? I had multiple tests, including a endoscopy and a colonoscopy, because I was pooping blood,(another ER visit), and then another ER visit I had to do because I lost all feeling in my legs, I just had surgery yesterday, the doctor said that he had to remove staples, from a previous surgery I had 16 years ago,(he didn’t say the reason why but I imagine that is what blew, and they were in there that long and never bothered me before the procedure) he had to take them out, and sew me up, and then I had a flap on the left side that blew open in my ovary, so he removed that, and he had to suture me up on that side, he had to remove the ligament on the right side also because the doctor from 16 years ago left it in, where it should have been removed. So I was in bad shape for a good couple of months now, because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong? and I had every test known to mankind. I am feeling a lot better already since the second gyn repaired everything, I am really hurt by all this and I feel like a victim in so many ways, for one once the first blow out happened I should have been taken into surgery, that was on my right side with the staples, and I shouldn’t have suffered so long before they found out what was wrong, and another why should I get stuck with all the medical bills when I was fine before the procedure? There is so many people that dropped the ball on this, I am lucky to even be alive right now. The staples are from when I had my right ovary removed, because I had a tumor on that one, and the military doctors let me suffer for ten months, before they would remove it, I seem to be medically neglected a lot when it comes to my female problems?
sabinesJuly 15, 2018
Good god, Katherine. I’m literally crying reading this. You have been to hell and back. I have read somewhere that there is a risk of puncturing the uterine wall during the biopsy. Here’s an interesting article about risks associated with biopsies: https://www.naturalnews.com/025159_cancer_biopsy_risks.html. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. I wish you the best and I will pray for you and your health.
Katherine KingJuly 23, 2018
It is still not over, right after the flap on the ovary blew on my left side, something also ruptured in my stomach, and I haven’t been able to hold down food very well, for a good month and a half, I have been having a lot of nausea and vomiting, right after he fixed the female area I was feeling a lot better, but now I back slid, and I have a GI appointment this week, and of course more tests and more money, and more suffering. I am never going to let them do something like this again. I will probably need another surgery to fix my stomach issues now? Part of me feels like I wish we could try and stop this type of procedure to ever be done on women again. It is inhumane, and for me it could cost me my life, if they don’t get to the bottom of this?
sabinesJuly 24, 2018
Katherine, I don’t even know what to say. Reading this makes me angry and sad at the same time. I’m praying for you and hope that your body will heal.
Katherine KingJuly 29, 2018
Thank you for the kind words, I have to have a gastric scan on the 8th of next month, now two months after all this started. I still think it might have set off some veins,or she might have cut one idk? to have a chain reaction like this? Like why would my staples have ruptured? and what would cause a flap on my ovary to blow open? The doctor did remove the flap and suture me up, but that seems strange? For now I am living on Ensure protein shakes, baby food, and breakfast drink because anything you could normally, will eat set off the intestines and I get really weak and sick. I am not sure I can stay with the same clinic after they finally fix me either? They have really lost my trust, or my faith in them after all this.
Katherine KingJuly 29, 2018
Thanks for the link, I do wonder if there are other people that this has happened to out there? Hopefully their clinic was more responsive to their stomach issues then mine has been?But I did have a really good second gyn, he fixed me pretty quickly. I am really glad that you started this blog to raise awareness to what can happen with this procedure? I am not the only one that has had trouble after a procedure in the female organs, my Mom had an IUD put in, and she got a severe infection from it, she had her female organs removed, she lost her gallbladder and a kidney from it, and I know they pulled it off the market for awhile? and I think it is now back as Mirena? But it seems like female devices or procedures can really cause problems in my family?
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Sue GregsonJuly 16, 2018
I had my biopsy this AM and even though I knew what to expect, the pain would have knocked me on my ass if I wasn’t already on my ass. I’m no pain wuss, either. I crushed both legs in dozens of places in a car accident and had multiple surgeries. Along with breaking every rib and puncturing my lungs. Even after they stopped mainlining Pain Meds, there was a lot of pain. I had two C-sections and a miscarriage. There is no excuse whatsoever for a doctor not to explain the procedure. My female gyn explained it well and said to take Tylenol in advance (I can’t take anti-inflammatories like Motrin). 1. Even if you’re on the table with feet in the stirrups, if your doc says he/she wants to do an endometrial biopsy, say No for that day. Schedule it. You MUST take ibuprophen in advance if you can. 2. The pain is NOTHING like a Pap or even a cervical biopsy. It’s excruciating and ranges from your pubic bone to your lower back to your naval. You will cramp shortly after starting and continue cramping (some women experience cramping for days). Taking the samples, or suctioning like my doc called it, is searing, scale-10 pain. Fortunately that part is over in a minute or so but it feels like forever. I found deep breathing helped a little, so did groaning. Scream if you have to and don’t let the doc or nurse make you feel bad. Odds are they’ve never had the damn procedure themselves. 3. Just like mammograms (if mammograms were for guys and involved smashing a guy’s sac between two plates, the medical community would have invented a Pain-free mammogram decades ago), since this is women’s medicine, the medical community is WAY BEHIND on developing a less painful biopsy method. Such as, before you start the suctioning, why can’t they coat the endometrium with some liquid lidocaine shot through the thin tubing they’re already using? Simple, inexpensive, wears off quickly, and no anesthesia. Yeesh. Historically, women have been treated like they are whiney princesses by a male-dominated industry. Glad to see more female docs, but they need to advocate for better pain control. Plan for the worst: take the day off if you can. Have someone drive you there and back. Pamper yourself.
sabinesJuly 17, 2018
Sue, I agree with everything in your comment. I will never have a “surprise” biopsy again. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Hope you’re feeling better today.
MukulJuly 18, 2018
Bravo Ma’am, hats off to you and your pain bearing capacity.
SafJuly 18, 2018
Thank you for sharing your experience. I feel like the feelings i had was justified. I just had the procedure last night and it was a horrible experience for me. It was really painful. i was sweating so much, trying to bare with the pain. Even felt like fainting and vomitting during the procedure because of the pain. Luckily the doc didnt ask me to get up on my feet straight away and she called my husband into the procedure room to accompany me until i felt better. I broke down into tears once i saw my husband’s face. Told him i do not want to go through that again.
sabinesJuly 19, 2018
Saf, I’m glad you had your husband with you. It is a traumatic experience and we shouldn’t go through this alone. Take it easy today. I hope you feel better soon.
SaraJuly 22, 2018
I had this procedure done 5 days ago and still feeling crampy/spotting. I agree that it is totally downplayed. I was told it may cause some cramping for a day or so, but no more. Yeah right . How long before you ladies got results back?
sabinesJuly 22, 2018
Sara, I waited about a week to get my results. Isn’t it ridiculous how they downplay it? Good luck and I hope the cramping stops soon.
Tamara McCantyJuly 22, 2018
Officially got the results almost 2 weeks later, but doctor had results in 10 days. The office called me and while they would not give me the results over the phone they did tell me I had to bring someone to the appointment- well, I knew what that meant. That is a sucky way to find out you have cancer, by the way. Would rather have been told and then told to come in for specifics and treatment plan.
AnnaJuly 24, 2018
I had this procedure performed today. It’s my second time. The first time I fell to pieces and they had to reschedule so I had it performed under general. Today I thought i’d be brave. I was told it would feel like period pain – it was more like giving birth. I have never known a pain like it, it ripped through my uterus and my back. When she scraped my womb for a sample I nearly passed out. They had to lower my head straight away and put the fan on me. The nurses were great, they made sure I could stand before I got up to get dressed. I’m still cramping badly now after 4 hours. I’m hoping there will never be a next time as i’m not putting myself through that again.
sabinesJuly 24, 2018
Crazy that they compare this procedure to “period pain” and “pap smear pressure”. What a joke! It’s also mind boggling how many women have this done to them. I had no idea until this post. You were incredibly brave for having it done a second time. Not sure I would do it again. Anna, thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
CharleneAugust 1, 2018
My doctor was honest…mostly. She said it’s like labor pains; but may seem worse since it’s been so many years since I’ve felt it. I had no epidural during child birth. I don’t remember it hurting like the biopsy. Part of me thinks its because I down-played it in my head; so I was caught off guard. My doctor, however, did say that it will only take “about 10 seconds”. It was several repetitions. of “10 seconds more”. I think it took about 3 minutes. The doctor encouraged me to do my Lamaze breaths; which I did.
I was sure I was just about to pass out from the pain, then the doctor stopped to let me take a few “less painful” seconds of breathing. Then “10 more seconds”. It was the worse. But, it is so important for me to find out if everything is o.k. My husband has been very concerned. I look forward to the test results.
CharleneAugust 1, 2018
I’ve heard, after the fact, that there might be a numbing drug? That would have been nice;)
sabinesAugust 2, 2018
Ugh. Why do they do that to us?
sabinesAugust 2, 2018
Charlene, I like that your doctor compared it to labor pains. Mine compared it to a pap smear. Insane. Hope the results give you much needed good news after what you’ve been through. Thank you for sharing… means a lot to me.
Laura AulettaAugust 2, 2018
Terrifying experience. Also a “surprise” procedure. No preparation. No pain management. I truly thought something terrible had happened because I could not imagine a modern medical system allowing a patient to feel this much pain for so long. It is not uncommon that the medical profession discounts women generally, and their pain often goes under-acknowledged. I would never allow anyone to do this to me again. I’ve thought women should organize around this one procedure and demand that the AMA come up with better pain management before another one of us has to experience it. Most painful thing I can ever recall happening to me. Shame on them all for allowing it for so long.
sabinesAugust 2, 2018
Laura, “surprise” procedures need to stop. It’s mind blowing how many women have to deal with this. The entire procedure needs an overhaul.
sheri ThomasAugust 2, 2018
Hi I have commented on here before about my awful experience with my biopsy.
But since then, I have had to attend my doctor’s for blood tests, which in the past before my biopsy , had been a simple procedure, even though it takes a few attempts, as I have awful veins.
But now, I find myself panicked and stressed.
On my last visit, I ended up in tears, felt sick , anxious, embarrassed and couldn’t cope.
After both visits for bloods, I was exhausted , tearful and depressed for the following few days after.
I feel I now have anxiety issues because of my experience with the biopsy.
I wish I had never had it done.
sabinesAugust 3, 2018
Sheri, I know exactly how you feel. I had a pap smear a week ago. I felt uncomfortable and stressed. The entire time I was there, I thought about how awful I felt during/after my biopsy. Unfortunately, this stuff stays with you.
JEANETTEAugust 14, 2018
I wish I’d read this before I had my biopsy a couple of weeks ago. I had post menopausal bleeding and was sent for an ultrasound. I was led to believe (or maybe it was wishful thinking) that this would show there was nothing to worry about and that would be the end of it. Unfortunately it showed that the endometrium was thicker than it should be, so they did a biopsy. I was told it might feel like period pain and could be a little uncomfortable. When I had clenched my fists and formed an angry ”FFF” with my mouth, the nurse told me it was ok to swear, so I did, very loudly. It was worse than the pain I felt in childbirth. Afterwards I was up all night in excruciating pain, which then eased, but actually I had after pains and general discomfort for a couple of weeks, when the biopsy results came back inconclusive, so yesterday I had to have a hysteroscopy. Not as stabbingly painful, but longer lasting and a lot more uncomfortable, so I am laying down for a while and have taken the day off work. Results were ok, so a big relief, but I would like to have known what to expect in advance. Also, women are other women’s worst enemies sonetumes. At work, I have been told things like, “oh yes I’ve had that lots of times,” when in fact they’ve had cervical biopsies. I’ve never had one of those, so I don’t know what it’s like, but I wouldn’t assume to know what someone else’s pain or fear feels like.
sabinesAugust 15, 2018
Ugh, you’ve been through a lot. You are very brave for enduring both procedures. I’m glad results were ok. I agree with you, it’s a shame they don’t tell us what to expect and how to prepare better. Thank you for sharing your experience. Have a great evening.
SuAugust 14, 2018
Had the endometrial biopsy yesterday, 8/13/18. I was terrified and cried for 3 days before. Took 3 Advil and 1 mg Xanax an hour before. I couldn’t feel the Xanax working, so I was nervous. My dr used numbing spray and it was only a little more uncomfortable than a pap. Meditated on Isaiah 26:3. She was done before I knew she had already done the biopsy. Once I got home, I slept for 5 hours. No pain laying down, just a little cramping when walking around. Very little spotting.
sabinesAugust 15, 2018
Su, I’m so happy to read this. I wish all doctors would prepare their patients for this procedure the way yours did. Why couldn’t my doctor use a numbing spray and tell me about Advil and Xanax? I just don’t get it! Thank you for sharing your (mainly) positive experience. Good to know there are ways to make this less painful.
SarahAugust 15, 2018
You have no idea how much reading these experiences puts my mind at ease. I had an internal ultrasound done and my uterus is collapsed and prolapsed to stage 2. How shocked I was to discover at the next appointment that he was doing a biopsy as we were supposed to discuss just a hysterectomy. To say the least – I wish I had only been cramping!!!! I was screaming at the top of my lungs while he sat there griping about my reaction and how most women tolerate this just fine! He was unable to finish the exam and wanted to do it again in the ER. No – no – no!! I was pale, shaking uncontrollably, felt like I was going to throw up my intestines, and dizzy. My mind went numb for a moment – and I wasn’t sure I could walk to the car as it felt like my intestines were falling out! The doctor made me feel so stupid for the pain and the way I acted – I was embarrassed at myself!! That was yesterday – today I am feeling crampy- but I am still feeling the inside pinch. I was pouring blood after the procedure – which wasn’t finished – but it has let up today! I never want to go through that again!! But – reading all of the other experiences has helped me feel better about myself!! Thank you so much for the blog!!
sabinesAugust 15, 2018
Sarah, so sorry to hear about your horrific experience. And why in the world would a doctor make you feel embarrassed? Ugh! As you can tell from the comments, you’re definitely not alone. Most feel extreme pain during the procedure. I hope you never have to go through this again. Sending you some positive vibes and thank you so much for reading and commenting here. It means the world to me.
LoriAugust 19, 2018
As someone with a high tolerance for pain, I felt annoyed at myself for feeling so much pain during this “feels similar to a pap” procedure. I had my biopsy done four days ago and for the first two days, I felt incapacitated. The doctor did play it down and really ticked me off when she kept saying “you’ve had three kids, you won’t feel much”. I have to ask why. Why does she (a woman who has never had a child) feel it’s okay to downplay anything because a woman has had three kids? Sure, going through the cervix is probably less painful, but scraping pieces of my uterine wall has zero to do with having babies! I was happy to find your page and see that I was indeed NOT crazy. This is, unfortunately, a necessary evil to research our cells without cutting through our stomachs therefore requiring a spinal. Today the contraction feeling cramps have passed and I’m only spotting a little. I’m not sure if the spotting is just another frequent period (I have two a month) or left from the biopsy. I will definitely say for sure though, if this biopsy comes back clean, I’m not doing the saline ultrasound. I really do think many of these tests are about money. I have a PPO. They love to run tests on my dime!
sabinesAugust 20, 2018
Lori, thank you for sharing and I hope that you’re feeling better today. I ask myself the same question – why do so many doctors expect women to “suck up” the pain? Because we give birth we are not allowed to complain about pain? It’s crazy! I too wonder how many of these tests are truly necessary and how many are money simply makers.
Mary MistryAugust 21, 2018
Thank you so much for all your comments. This made me not feel alone. I just got my biopsy today. I felt like a wimp as I was also told there would be “moderate cramping”. I would describe it as torture. I have gone through years of infertility so I am used to things being “worked on” down there. This was by far the worst and most painful experience of my life. What can we do to make a change? How can we help other women not feel like a wimp during a vulnerable time? I want to make a change. Any suggestions?
sabinesAugust 26, 2018
Ugh, I’m so sorry you had to endure this torture. You are not a wimp and you’re not alone. I have another post asking readers what we can do to make this experience less painful. https://mominmusiccity.com/are-doctors-underestimating-the-pain-of-endometrial-biopsy/
ChrisAugust 25, 2018
Glad to read that I am not alone. Yesterday, My gynecologist’ asistant (either a resident or Dr.) suggested he does a pap test & endometrial biopsy since I’ve been having intermittent bleeding × 9 weeks. I thought nothing of it like other women have mentioned.
I have a high pain threshold, although I’ve never given birth I’ve gone thru 3 rounds of IVF. Yet this procedure was painful, unexpected , unbearable.
His 1st attempt to take biopsy he failed. I took a deep breath & mentioned I felt faint, he tried a 2nd time & failed again. I said I was feeling faint, weak & fainted.
I’m glad my spouse happened to accompany me to my appointment since I wasnt in condition to drive home. The cramps lasted only a few hrs but have returned today which I find worrisome since Dr. was unable to take a biopsy.
Women should be better informed prior to having this done & there needs to be a protocol of certain pain relievers or numbing agents set in place prior to all endometrial biopsies done.
sabinesAugust 26, 2018
Chris, I’m glad your spouse was with you. I agree, women need to be better informed. Just “throwing” a surprise biopsy at us won’t cut it.
fiona1960August 25, 2018
I visited my GYN for post menopausal bleeding and he of course wanted to do an Endometrial Biopsy right then and there. Knowing nothing about it I agreed. I feel like I have a pretty high tolerance to pain but this was the most painful thing I remember experiencing. I had to ask him to stop after about a minute into it. I was crying, shaking, felt nauseous and light headed. It was a terrible experience and I can’t believe they do this in a doctor’s office. I decided to find a female doctor who might be more empathetic to this procedure. I found a wonderful doctor and she does hers in an outpatient surgery center. I wasn’t crazy about having to go under sedation but it was definitely for me the lesser of two evils. The procedure went well and my results were negative, that was a year ago. I’m now having post menopausal bleeding again with pain and so she has recommended another endometrial biopsy. I will definitely have it done again under anesthesia. In my book that is the only way to go for this procedure.
sabinesAugust 26, 2018
Fiona, sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience. It’s interesting how many doctors want to do the biopsy “right then and there”. Why not inform the patient first and give them time to think about it? I’m glad you were able to find a doctor who offers sedation. Knowing what I know now, i think that’s the way I would go if I ever had to do this again. Thank you for sharing… this is great info.
Becky LaurenAugust 30, 2018
I had an endometrial biopsy yesterday. It felt like torture. The needle that was used to numb me was extremely painful. Looking at that very long needle before the biopsy was psychologically traumatizing. It was so awful that I felt the needle. The pressure of the scraping tool up in there felt like intense contractions with really unpleasant pressure. I yelled in agony. I have had uterine biopsies and colposcopies and nothing was as painful as this. I agree that that procedure should be done under twilight. I am very tired today. Just as tired as at the end of the biopsy .I thought about how cruel it was to make women go through that. I am glad to hear other women cried and yelled as I did.
sabinesSeptember 1, 2018
You’re right, it feels like torture. Hope you’re feeling better and thank you so much for taking the time to comment.
nurpSeptember 2, 2018
I will have it for ERA test tomorrow under anaesthesia. I am even scared to feel pain under twilight. During egg collection, I said ‘no twilight, put me in deep sleep so there is no way I wake up’.
I wonder if I should try this twilight thing tomorrow. Is there any possibility that I will or do something stupid if I feel pain? Any chance I feel/remember pain?
sabinesSeptember 3, 2018
I hope your procedure went well. I have never had twilight anesthesia so I couldn’t have been of much help. Would love to hear about your experience. God bless.
Brittney LukerSeptember 6, 2018
I had a uterine biopsy yesterday and took a hydrocodone before going (thank the Lord) though I am not sure that it helped at all!!! The procedure it self was not fun but it was tolerable. He told me it was over and I was so relieved!!! He took the tools out and all hell broke loose! I experienced unbearable pain, threw up, passed out, couldn’t wiggle my fingers and toes, my body was numb and tingly while also burning intensely! The staff was amazing with me and never left my side but didn’t offer an explanation as to why I was experiencing this. I thought I was dying. Sooo much worse than childbirth… and I’ve delivered 3 children including a set of twins!! NEVER AGAIN!! So thankful I found this article! I thought something was really wrong. Glad to now I’m not alone!
sabinesSeptember 9, 2018
Oh Brittney, this sounds horrible. Hearing this gives me the chills. I too felt my body was on fire afterwards. The whole thing is just plain horrible. I hope you’re feeling better today and thank you for taking the time to share your experience.
KaySeptember 9, 2018
I had one of these recently too. I had gone in for irregular bleeding and I wanted an IUD, and my doc mentioned he wanted to do one of these first. He was so casual about it “Oh it’s just like a pap smear.” It was about 9am and I hadn’t eaten yet, which I’m sure didn’t help anything.
I wasn’t worried until, after he had me lie down, the physician’s assistant came over and held my hand. I suddenly had the feeling that this wasn’t going to be as painless as he promised. It felt like being stabbed (as many other women have said.) Now I’m chronically ill, and with all of my reproductive issues, I’ve had cramps/pain that have made me black out. But I was shocked how much this hurt. I think I whimpered and said “owwww” because I tend to go quiet when I’m in pain.
But you’re right, the worst part was the after. I sat up and he was talking to me about next steps for getting the IUD and my ears were ringing so hard I couldn’t hear him. He patted me on the leg and told me to take my time. I thought I was going to pass out, but I could only take like 5 minutes, because I was leading a training session at work at like 10:30 that day.
I chugged a Coke from the McDonald’s drive through hoping that would get me through the training but I was shaken and crampy all day. I can’t believe they wouldn’t give me any more warning than that. A friend left a muffin on my desk since I had missed breakfast and I started sobbing.
sabinesSeptember 9, 2018
“Oh it’s just like a pap smear.” WHO ARE THEY KIDDING and why are they lying to us? And why aren’t they telling us about ” the after”? Is it a money making thing? Quick procedure, good money? This really needs to stop and I’m sorry you had to endure this. Hats off to you for leading a training session right after. That must have taken a lot of strength.
KristinSeptember 10, 2018
I feel much better (mentally and emotionally) after reading this. Physically not so much. I had an unexpected endometrial biopsy today and I’m so glad I didn’t know what to expect or I would have refused. The procedure lasted much long than expected due to my cervix being pretty much clamped shut and uncooperative. The nurse left 3 times to get different tools because they couldn’t get in to get the biopsy. I like to think I have a pretty high tolerance for pain but this was a whole different level! The doctor apologized profusely and checked on me frequently but as you all know, this offers no consolation. Towards the end I started sweating, dry heaving and got very lightheaded. I hope I never have to have this done again and if I do, they better knock me out! I’m so sorry for the pain all of you have experienced but it feels good to know I’m not alone!
sabinesSeptember 16, 2018
Kristin, sorry for your physical and emotional pain. It’s a tough procedure that’s for sure. As you can tell by the comments, you are definitely not alone. Hope you’re feeling better and ,knock on wood you never have to go through this again.
CJSeptember 15, 2018
Thanks! I read this after my biopsy to see if there were any aftershocks that I might expect. Everything you describe, I concur. The procedure and the related pain was downplayed, and I have a high tolerance for pain. If ainwoukd have known how uncomfortable it was goi g to be I would have asked for something stronger than the 600 mg of Ibruprophen they suggested taking before hand to lessen the cramping. Bring some one with you to drive you home would be the other suggestion.
sabinesSeptember 16, 2018
CJ, couldn’t agree with you more. Bring someone with you if you can. The way I see it, a good doctor would inform women about what to expect during and after the procedure. My doctor, for example, gave me zero information.
Sandy JonesSeptember 17, 2018
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?
sabinesSeptember 18, 2018
Sandy, I don’t even know what to say. Something went horribly wrong and I’m so sorry for what you had to endure. I’m glad your mom was nearby when you needed help. I agree, what happened to you is unacceptable and things need to change. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. If i could take your pain away I would.
Mar F.September 18, 2018
I must have had a wonderful doctor. It was a little painful but nothing that I couldn’t tolerate. A little cramping after. I took Motrin and all is well. Had it done a couple of hours ago and now off to work.
sabinesSeptember 18, 2018
You are one of the few lucky ones and I’m happy for you.
DaphneSeptember 19, 2018
I will be having one Friday, and after reading this, I am prepared to ask a lot of questions and get a care release sheet up front.
Why does this happen? Google studies about women and pain complaints, ER wait times, and responses to medication requests. This country is realizing an epidemic of pain acknowledgment to women.
We wait longer than men to be seen in the ERs in this country than men based on pain level self assessments.
We are given less pain medication.
We are ignored more.
You will find stories of women who had uterine torque, twisted ovaries, and ruptures appendices and were cheerfully told to get with it, as it was just cramps.
My advice to anyone who may have such a procedure on the horizon is to take someone in with you if possible (a spouse is optimal) and to have that person read this blog first. If you want to stop, yell as loud as you can. Make as much noise as possible. Demand pain relief before proceeding.
The problem is that we say nothing. We go to the car and then cry. We don’t learn our rights to compassionate treatment. We don’t report the doctors for these transgressions. We don’t know the addresses or phone numbers of the state medical boards or public records.
I am very lucky, as my specialist is an absolute gem. We are not all that lucky. But we can put our feet down.
sabinesSeptember 20, 2018
Daphne, I agree. Women are expected to “suck it up” and deal with pain. My daughter just came down with a severe kidney infection and was told to wait in the ER for 10 hours. She was in so much pain she couldn’t sit yet didn’t complain even once. My heart aches for her and all women who just “suck it up”. I’m happy to hear that you have a great doctor. Good luck tomorrow. Hope all goes well. Would love for you to “report’ back if possible. Thank you.
AmandaSeptember 20, 2018
I’m 38 yo I just had my first one on Sept 18th I’m up at almost 1am right now because im still in so much cramping pain I’m reaserching if this is normal. I thought I was being a baby. All I wanted to do was cry after the procedure. It was horrible just as you all have said! No numbing of anything. All I want to do is cry now and it’s been a day and a half later. I have a high pain tolerance and I’m not sure why I feel this way. I seriously hate this! But your blog and reading a lot of these stories helped me. So thank you ladies. At least I don’t feel so alone right now.
sabinesSeptember 20, 2018
Amanda, as you can see from the hundreds of comments, you’re not alone and you were definitely not being a baby about it. I’m so sorry your experience was horrible. I still remember the feeling I felt afterwards and couldn’t get the “scraping” feeling out of my head. Sending positive vibes your way and thank you for sharing this on my little blog.
Nancy LlamasSeptember 21, 2018
OMG now I’m feeling a little scared I will have an endometriosis biopsy Tuesday was googling to know what to expect. Dr did not say a word about pain or anything
sabinesSeptember 21, 2018
Nancy, this seems to be a common thread here. Many doctors compare the procedure to a pap smear… just a little pressure. I would recommend you have someone drive you.
SandySeptember 22, 2018
This is Sandy and I wanted to give you an update. I was in so much pain that I called the gynecologist office again on Wednesday (there are three other gynecologist besides the one that did my biopsy) and asked to speak to someone besides the biopsy dr. I was told he was the only one on duty, but the RN office manager came to the phone. I explained my situation and she assured me that she would get my medica records from the emergency room from a few days prior and give me a call back. I did not hear anything all night. Thursday morning I received a phone call to come into the office for an ultrasound. Within half an hour of being at the drs office, I was admitted back into the hospital. The gynecologist that was working with me was phenomenal and understanding…she was dedicated to finding out what caused me to bleed out. She immediately put in an order for me to be put on three different IV antibiotics and morphine for my pain. She thought that I had probably experienced a perforated uterus and was showing symptoms of a pelvic infection, but unfortunately that is a wound that does not always show up easily. Blood work revealed that my levels were still a little low, but better. CT scan revealed nothing new. It was decided Friday morning to take me into laparoscopic surgery to attempt finding answers. She did warn me that it may not be possible to find the perforation, but in the end I felt that it would be a good idea to make sure everything else seemed healthy. More doctors should perform at the level of this one. She ensured that I was fully aware of every pro and con of the surgery, I signed consent forms, and agreed ahead for her to remove or repair whatever was necessary. I woke up to find out that she removed a 2 cm cyst that had grown into my left ovary and Fallopian tube…she took the ovary and tube as well. Still no proof of the perforation, but when I asked could the cyst be the cause of my bleeding out she replied that it was highly doubtful. I believe the cyst was probably the cause of the problem that sent me to the gynecologist in the first place….remember when ablation sounded like it would cure all? Today is Sunday and I was discharged from the hospital late this afternoon. I am looking at a few weeks of recovery, with pain medication, antibiotics, and lots of rest. If I have learned anything it’s that we, as women and individuals, need to take charge in our medical care. Ask questions! Demand sedation when it is needed. We live in 2018 ladies….we deserve to have biopsies be treated like the surgery that it is.
sabinesSeptember 24, 2018
Sandy, I have no words. What happened to you was horrible. You are a brave woman and i appreciate your sharing your experience with us. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope you get lots of rest.
SandySeptember 22, 2018
Also, I hope you do not mind, but I am sharing a link of this site on my Facebook. I plan to tell my story as loudly as I can, sharing our stories together can hopefully make a difference.
sabinesSeptember 24, 2018
You’re welcome to share. Yes, I hope we can make a difference. Thank you, Sandy.
Carmen CerdaSeptember 26, 2018
I was thinking the same thing! That procedure is barbaric! How are we not raising hell to have them sedate us? I don’t care if the procedure takes only 3 minutes no woman should have to stand that kind of pain.
LwaSeptember 26, 2018
This page was so helpful to me, I wanted to share my experience. I just had the biopsy this morning. An hour before the procedure I took 600mg of Ibupropen and took two draws on a pot vape pen 🙂 I listened to music on my ipod while in the waiting room (always a good distraction for me) The doctor had me cough when she put the tool in to hold everything open and other than an odd scraping feeling I felt nothing, was not dizzy when it was over, nothing. It took minutes. I left the house at 9:45 and was home back at my desk by 11am. The doctor said it was easier because I was having my period yet was surprised that I was so unaffected. I’m so sorry for those with bad stories.
Carmen CerdaSeptember 26, 2018
Hi! I see that this is an old post but I’ll reply anyway. Here’s a little history about me. I’ve had endometriosis since I was 15 or so. I had to have a “cleaning” via laparoscopy to remove the lesions from the outside of my uterus and other parts of my body at age 27. I’m now 41 and I’ve had 3 kids, 1 miscarriage and three ectopic pregnancies. I have a lot of scare tissue from all the surgeries in the past so they can’t go back in and remove the new lesions because it’s too risky for me. 4 years ago after I had my last baby I started having endometriosis symptoms again. I have extremely heavy and long periods with big blood clots! So the doctor wants to run test and the endometrial biopsy. Let me just say that I’m extremely upset at my doctor for telling me that it was a simple procedure. That was a big lie! I had the procedure done on Monday, today is Wednesday and I’m still recovering. I have 3 kids 11,7,and a 4 year old. I don’t have time for down time. Me husband had had to work from home because I’m have so much pain on my right side. It felt like I was being probed by aliens (that’s what I imagine it would feel like) I almost fainted from the pain. She wanted to do 4 passes and I almost kicked her when she was done with the 3rd pass. If she would’ve tried to the the 4th pass I would’ve kicked her and passed out from the pain. Thank you so much for sharing your story ladies. Did any of you feel a sharp pain after the procedure? My right side is tender to the touch.
Denise GunnSeptember 27, 2018
Whilst it’s horrible to know so many ladies have suffered, in a way it is also comforting to know i’m not alone. I’m no stranger to pain, i’ve Had gallstones and infected gallbladder, given birth with zilch pain relief and endured 6 miscarriages at home, two at 13 weeks which was not unlike labour. Today I had my biopsy, no preparation at all, no advice to take pain relief and no relief or numbing offered. As the tube was entering my cervix the awful cramping began, I think he tried it two or three times, not sure as by this time I had my eyes screwed shut and teeth gritted. The pain just got worse and worse. Afterwards, the doc said get dressed and walked off. I tried to stand and my legs were like jelly, I felt light headed and weak and had broken out in a sweat. There was blood all on the bed underneath me. I don’t know how I managed to walk home ( only about 10 minute walk but each step was agony). I got in and the cramps by now were so bad I had tears rolling down my face and all around my back was hurting like hell too. I went to bed and cried. I hardly ever cry at pain but this was something else entirely. It’s now 6 hours later and I still hurt everywhere, am bleeding like a period and feel very weak and dizzy. Have phoned in work to get the day off tomorrow. I work with babies and toddlers and I honestly don’t think I would have the strength to lift them up or care for them. I feel less of a wuss knowing i’m Not the only one who has found this procedure so painful.
DSeptember 29, 2018
I’ve had this procedure twice. In 2015, woman Dr, brutal procedure. I mean painfully brutal. This past Tuesday, different Dr, male. He knew I was nervous. The one benefit I had was my cervix was a little open were i wasI was ovulating. I heard him tell the resident I was a 9 so you would do a 9 on the pipelle. That’s when they insert the cervical dilator in to see how far it is to the top of the uterus. I saw the instt he was going to use laying on the tray. The pipelle, sample cup, and 2 other instruments in paper/ plastic sheath. I knew they both had to be the cervical dilators but then I was like where is the rest of the instruments he’s suppose to use? He walked in and said you ready to get this done I nervously said yes cause I kept flashing back to the one before. He said each time I do something I’m going to tell you I said ok. So he said I’m going to measure your uterus then he said oh see her cervix is a little dilated. Then he said I’m instering one dilator, then he said now I’m instering the pipelle. I felt a dull scraping but no pain. As he was dilating my cervix it was uncomfortable and a few pains but yet again nothing that made me want to scream. I did kinda squeeze the side of the table when he inserted the first dilator. Then he said ok we are done you can slide back .I was having some discomfort but my goodness NOTHING like the first one. He said slide back and sit up. I sat up and said oh my that was far from what I feared. From the insertion of the first dilator to the end of the tissue removal it was about 20 seconds, I watched the clock on the wall. I’m so thankful for the Dr I have found .he likes to keep things to a minimum and simple. I would suggest watching for your egg whites to show then the next month make your appt for then. I would do that from here on out .hope this gives some of you comfort ❤️
Sherry DSeptember 29, 2018
I feel so much better after reading that I am not the only one who had a difficult time going through this barbaric procedure. Sisterhood makes the trauma not quite as bad. Thank you all for sharing.
LeslieOctober 30, 2018
Wow, just wow. That we all found our way to the site. I had an unexpected (unplanned) endometrial biopsy yesterday for spotting after menopause. How can our docs say it will be “bad cramping”- try “it will feel like a knife.” I yelped, too like a previous comment. Wanted to curl up and cry but had an eye doctor appt. after after having taking a half day off work to do both. Ibuprofen and cold pack in bed when I made it home but still cramping this morning and feel yuck. NEVER AGAIN.
sabinesOctober 31, 2018
Ugh! You were fed the same lies as most of us. This makes me so mad. So sorry you had to go through this. 🙁
Sandra M MarinoNovember 15, 2018
I, too had an unplanned endometrial biopsy done yesterday, and I feel I was blindsided. I am 48 years old, and have been having irregular periods. Every 2-3 weeks, then nothing for a couple of months, but when it does come, it’s very heavy and lasts about 2 weeks. I haven’t had a period in over two months now, but have been having severe cramping. I suspected entering menopause.
When I arrived, the nurse suggested this may be what the Dr. would do upon our initial discussion, and explained how the Dr. would do it. I definitely feel she downplayed how it would feel. She said it was similar to a pap smear, only the Dr. would use a tool something like a needle that had holes along the sides of it, that he would insert into my uterus to remove a small amount of cells. Slight discomfort and cramps. She led me into the exam room, told me to remove everything from the waist down, and have a seat on the table, and left. On the table was a paper sheet, and a maxi pad.
Honestly, I felt as though I were being stabbed. After inserting the speculum, my Dr. began and at first said it was going to pinch a little. I did, and I assumed, (wrongly), we were through, and that it wasn’t so bad. I said, “we’re done?” He said, “No, I haven’t started yet, that was just the tool.” The next few minutes were absolute torture. It hurt. A lot. I felt violated, to be honest. I know that’s a strong reaction, but that’s the only way I can describe it.
After he finished, he inserted a few fingers inside my vagina, while pressing down on my stomach area. This was like adding salt to the wound!! He too, said I would experience some light spotting and cramps. I had some questions I had planned to ask him, and told him so.
He stopped and waited, but I was in so much pain, I drew a blank and couldn’t remember what they were, so I told him if I remembered, I’d call the office. He said he wanted me to return for another appointment to have an ultrasound. He removed his gloves and left the room.
I got dressed in a haze, and went out to the reception area to schedule my appointment for the ulrasound. I kind of felt like I was in a fog. I went outside got into my car, and headed home, thinking the entire way, I can’t wait to get home and crawl into bed and just stay there.
Since then, I’m still spotting pretty heavily, and the cramps are horrible. I go back on Monday for my ultrasound, and the Dr. said the results for the biopsy should be in on Friday, (tomorrow), and he’d call with the results, and we’d discuss where to go from there.
I will say this; if I ever need to have this done again, I will ask what options there are for pain relief during the procedure.
sabinesNovember 16, 2018
Sandra, what a nightmare! Your experience is very similar to mine so I know what you went through. Thank you so much for sharing and best of luck with your results.
Paula FNovember 15, 2018
I had this procedure yesterday due to mild uterine thickening. Dr told me I’d have mild cramping. After almost passing out I believe now I know what it would feel like to be stabbed with a knife several times. After hearing me yell in unbearable pain, he proudly chose to share the bloody tool and the container of biopsy pieces with me. It was so wrong not telling me what to expect.
sabinesNovember 16, 2018
That’s sick. Your doctor doesn’t seem to have any compassion. I’m so sorry you had this horrible experience.
joybeeDecember 18, 2018
Write to the hospital. Speak up! I’m 72 & had this procedure done 40 years ago It was painful then & hasn’t changed in over 40 years. I had it done recently expecting it to be improved. It wasn’t! I wrote to the hospital Told them it’s Barbaric to perform minor SURGERY without pain relief! WE ALL need to Complain or nothing will change!
I recently read they can inject lidocaine & spray it to numb the area, Why aren’t they doing that? Because not enough women are saying Enough!
SabineDecember 27, 2018
Joybee, you’re right. We shouldn’t accept it or nothing will change.
JessDecember 6, 2018
I wish I’d found your blog before having this procedure done. I also consider myself to have a high pain threshold but this has been unbelievable. The specialist had three tries at getting tissue, each more painful. I was totally unprepared for how excruciating it was going to be. It’s now ten days after the procedure and I am in constant pain to the point of it hurting to walk and being occasionally doubled up in pain. I have a young son and it feels as though I might never get to do the things we used to enjoy again. Worst of all, the specialist was unable to get any tissue and I will need to repeat the procedure again to check I don’t have uterine cancer. For now, I’ll take one day at a time until I feel as though I could face this again. I feel that this could be more regulated and should definitely be classified as some sort of day surgery with local anesthetic. Thank you for your article and to everyone for their comments. It’s helped to feel that I am not alone. I felt as though I was the only one to have an adverse reaction to this procedure.
sabinesDecember 6, 2018
So sorry to hear this, Jess. Have you been back to the doctor since you had the biopsy? I feel like ten days is a long time for you to still be in pain. I can only imagine how hard it must be to keep up with a small child while in so much pain. Hope the pain stops soon and thank you for reading.
JessDecember 10, 2018
Thanks Sabine. I went to my doctor last week who checked I hadn’t picked up an infection from the procedure. There was no infection and she thinks most likely it is/was bruising from the proceedure. Thankfully the pain is less than it was a week ago, which gives me hope. I’ve got another appointment today and will let you know if I find out anything which might help someone else. Thank you again for bringing this discussion into the open. I’m awed by your generosity in replying to each woman individually. Bless you.
sabinesDecember 11, 2018
Jess, thank you for the update. Glad to hear things are looking better for you and you’re in less pain. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
EliseDecember 8, 2018
I’m so glad I found this blog. I had a surprise endometrial biopsy done on Friday. I went in for vaginal ultrasound in which the technician explained that my doctor wanted to have a closer look because she didn’t like what she saw in my uterus. Apparently they found 5 fibroids with 4 being 1 cm and one about the size of a golf ball. But those were not a concern. She needed a biopsy because she wanted to make sure there are no polyps on cancerous things going on. I’m post menopausal with no other symptoms other than an unexplainable trace of blood in my urine. She told me that the biopsy would just be pressure and cramping and a little pinch. Omg! The pain was horrible! It’s now Saturday and the heavy bleeding I am experiencing is ridiculous. I wasn’t sure if this was normal. If this is still going on by Monday, I will have to either go to the ER or call this gynecologist to explain what the hell is happening! I feel so unbelievably violated and feel like I was not given the information fully on why this had to be done. Pray for me, please.
sabinesDecember 9, 2018
Elise, I said a prayer for you last night. Hope you feel better soon. Please keep us updated.
joybeeDecember 18, 2018
Please SPEAK up. We should not have to endure such pain. Woman don’t complain so the procedure doesn’t change! I wrote to the Hospital & told them it’s barbaric not to have pain relief for minor surgery! I recently read they can inject Lidocaine & spray it to numb the area.If enough women speak up they WILL change the horrible way they do this! Quit saying you have a high tolerance to pain! None of us need to feel that way!
TabathaDecember 19, 2018
I had an endometrial biopsy on Monday. It wasn’t a surprise by any means so I found your blog beforehand and let me say I was terrified to have it done because of the comments on here. I walked in and my blood pressure was 155/92 because of how nervous I was.
All I took beforehand was 1 little Advil and fortunately my experience was great. Not saying I would like to do it again because who really likes to have someone scrapping calls from their uterus? But I am saying that it was only mildly painful for me, literally less pain than my typical period cramps. With each swipe I took in a deep breath through the nose and out through the mouth. I did this so slowly that she was done with 1 swipe by the time I finished that breath. When all was done i was able to quickly get up and get dressed, barely had any cramping (didn’t even need to take a tylenol), and have only had mild bleeding since then.
I just wanted to say this so that others who come on here can see that not everyone experiences the same pain. Btw I’m 35, had 2 kids vaginally, and my biopsy was done during my ovulation week.
SabineDecember 27, 2018
Tabatha, I am happy to hear your procedure wasn’t too horrible. I wish all women could report back the same.
KimberlyDecember 21, 2018
I have had two very different experiences with an endometrial biopsy. I had my first one about 6 or 7 years ago, I’m usually good with procedures, so my gynecologist did a biopsy. It truly felt like a few pinches, no big deal. Fast forward to last year and I was so brave when they wanted to do another biopsy, since I’d already had one and it was not big deal I was not concerned. This second one was totally different, what a nightmare. The pain was excruciating and I felt so sick. I can’t believe how different the biopsy’s were, maybe my cervix was not cooperating since I was post menopausal with the second one, I really don’t know. I might possibly need another one due to uterine thickening and I am terrified. It almost feels like you have post traumatic stress after this. I’m going to inquire about a D & C instead, or they better have a plan to drug me up good!! I feel so bad for women going in to this blindly, it feels barbaric.
SabineDecember 27, 2018
Kimberly, I so agree with having post traumatic stress afterward. It’s exactly what I felt.
UMizz CpDecember 22, 2018
I just had my EMB done as well recently as part of the procedure before Hysterectomy surgery. But it isn’t my first Endometrial biopsy. It was more intense than the first one two years prior. Despite the pain which I already knew I also learned a sedative is far too dangerous to use on a quick procedure like these. I still overweighed the benefit to get it to check for any abnormality or even cancer. Surprisingly, I was the one who requested an EMB with my first gynecologist. She wasn’t planning to offer one when I told her I had abnormal bleeding. My first EMB, it was unpleasant, but it was very tolerable. I suffered very little to no bleeding and went on my day as usual.
Allow me to describe a little history about my unhealthy uterus. It started after a car accident back in 2001 that fractured my pelvis. All this time I thought my intense back pain was from the car collision. Because of the ongoing pain, I’ve been bed-ridden for almost a decade. So two years ago I managed to get myself check out with the gynecologist, and the result was that I have an enlarged uterus which is what caused my back pain. A standard size uterus is 70 ml. But mine was at 534 ml roughly about one pound. It looked like I was pregnant. My first gyno doctor suggested me to get a hysterectomy done because my uterus will continue to grow and the pain will even be far worse as it pushed against my nerves. I hesitated and scared because of the risk of the surgery and aftermath. Sadly, I cannot handle the pain anymore, and I don’t want to be in the house like I’m in a house arrest. Two years later, I finally decided to proceed with having surgery done.
When I was at the office clinic with my new gyno doctor to get my second EMB done, I thought it’ll be something like last time, no biggie I can handle it. Boy, I was wrong. It was indeed painful, but this gyno doctor did it so quick roughly under 30 seconds, it was over before I knew it. Then the doctor and the nurse left the room and told me to stay in my same position for five minutes before getting up. However, when I got up after some time, I bled heavily and had blood clots came out. Of course, I was in my panic mode. But then I thought it looked just like my usual heavy period anyway. I opened the door to shout for a nurse, and she came with two pads then explained about the bleeding right after EMB procedure is normal.
Here’s the funny miracle part, before my EMB on the same day, I was in massive intolerable back pain. I was crying inside my head. I thought how I am going to take this along with the EMB procedure? But guess what? My back pain was drastically reduced down to about 20 percent after the EMB procedure. It was right after a big blood clot came out. I didn’t expect an excellent outcome like this. It lasted me two days with little pain, and I felt great. Unfortunately, it was just a temporary relief I’m currently in my 100% back pain, and how I wish I wanted another EMB to rid my back pain. But of course, the best treatment is surgery. I hope nothing terrible happens.
SabineDecember 27, 2018
Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sorry you’ve been through so much. Wishing you health and healing for the new year.
JenniferJanuary 11, 2019
Well, it’s the New Year, however, it’s not NEW for procedures or ethics. I had this done yesterday and I was never told any instructions before hand about taking medicine, emptying my bladder. Again I was told the pain is like period cramps. I would give anything to have the worst period cramps ever compared to the pain of this! It took her 3 attempts. I was sweating, cold, shivering and felt so sick. I was never aware of how much pain this was or I would have opted for sedation or pain killers or numbing…even an aspirin at that point. Women should be told they have other options.
SabineJanuary 14, 2019
Jennifer, so sorry to hear this. You’re right, things haven’t changed/improved since I had mine. Your experience was very similar to mine and I agree, women should have other options.
KimJanuary 17, 2019
I just had this done on Monday. I went in for an iud and the doctor ended up telling me she was going to do a biopsy. I asked if it would hurt and was told it would feel like pinching. I am 40 years old with 2 children. I thought that my pain tolerance was pretty good until I had this procedure done. Some friends told me to take advil before hand which I did but I never expected the pain I experienced. It’s now Thursday and I have been in tears at least once per day due to the extreme cramping. I called the doctors office today to see how long the pain would last and was told 4-6 weeks. I leave for Dominican on Sunday and can’t even imagine going the way I feel now. The doctors should be better informing woman about how difficult this procedure can be on you. NEVER again will I have this done
SabineJanuary 20, 2019
Holy cow, 4-6 weeks? That is not ok! Isn’t it odd how they like to “sneak in” a surprise biopsy? Why not tell us before we get to the office? Hope you’re feeling better… so sorry for your pain.
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TraceyJanuary 31, 2019
I just had an endometrial biopsy yesterday. The first one was done when I was under, as I was having a D&C to remove a polyp; so while it was not the first biopsy I had, it was the first one I was awake for.
HOLY CRAP! I cannot believe how painful it was. At one point, I was actually afraid that I was going to lose control of my bowels, the pain was so bad. And I pride myself on having a pretty high tolerance.
I absolutely was not warned ahead of time of how painful this could be, and I am furious with my Doctor for downplaying what to expect. I don’t understand why women are not routinely offered sedation when they are having this procedure. I agree that cancer would be a hell of a lot more painful, but there is no way in hell I’m going through that again without being put under.
SabineFebruary 3, 2019
Tracey, thank you for taking the time to comment. Sorry to hear about your painful experience. What you’re saying is what thousands of women don’t understand including myself. Why is this procedure downplayed by so many doctors and why don’t they sedate?
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Sara McNeilFebruary 20, 2019
Thank you all for sharing your stories; I am glad I am not alone. I knew my biopsy was a possibility today. The doctor I was seeing for the first time was very forthright and told me there would be pain. A friend who is a retired ob/gyn told me the same thing, and mentioned that since my one child had been delivered by Caesarean section, I might have cervical stenosis, which would add to the difficulty. I was imagining something like a cervical biopsy–a sting, a prick, something like that. (Last one of those was premenopause, and I’m now four years postmenopause, so there’s probably some atrophy, too, to contend with.) I thought I had a high pain threshold. I teach yoga, and I know how to breathe. The pain was breathtakingIy bad, from the opening of and holding open of the cervix, and even more excruciating with the insertion of the pipette into the uterus. I tried to carry on a conversation and deal with it, talk through it, endure, but I was loud, and I actually begged the doctor to stop. He got a small sample, and I got up fine, visited with doc and staff, all fine, drove home on autopilot, and I didn’t break down in uncontrollable tears til I got home. My legs are still like jelly and my knees ache,8-9 hours later, probably just from involuntary tensing and tightening due to the traumatic and invasive and painful nature of all this. At least I could get myself home, but I will never do this again without demanding something for the pain. There’s no excuse for this, none whatsoever. If something’s this painful and invasive and traumatic for so many women, something needs to be done. A whole different protocol needs to be devised to take these samples. Mine’s particularly irksome because the doctor and I are virtually certain I’m going to turn out to be fine.
SabineFebruary 23, 2019
Sara, thank you for reading here and sharing your story. Sounds like you had a tough one to endure. I agree wholeheartedly, this procedure is very invasive and painful. Why in the world hasn’t anyone in the medical field come up with a better way to take these samples? Ugh!
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KimFebruary 21, 2019
The comments above cover everything I’m about to say, but I just had to say it to someone. My husband doesn’t understand how traumatized I am by the endometrial biopsy I had yesterday, and I can’t seem to shake off the anxiety. Up til now, I’ve always thought of myself as a strong person with a very high pain tolerance. I’ve been through all sorts of procedures since I was a young child due to severe kidney disease. I’ve had multiple catheter placements, kidney dialysis, appendectomy, biopsies, and more, including a kidney transplant. I went through 24 hours of labor and an emergency c-section. Let’s just say, I’ve seen my share of doctors and pain.
So I really didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal when my gyn wanted to do an endometrial biopsy. I was given no warnings about pain or anything, or even to take pain meds beforehand. Luckily for me (I guess??) I decided to take some tylenol just in case it might be a bit painful. I’d been through a couple of rough IUD placements in the past and so I thought it would be a good idea.
Admittedly, I arrived a little late due to traffic, and asked if I should reschedule. Instead, they shuffled me in, took my blood pressure, and told me to take my clothes off from the waist down – the usual stuff. The doctor came in and had me in the stirrups in no time. So far not a big deal. She had this array of instruments and betadine on a tray, and immediately spread me apart. Then, with no manual exam or nothing, she starts swabbing my cervix with the betadine, and starts putting some instrument on/in? my cervix. Holy hell, my body suddenly jerked back, practically off the table because of the severe, searing pain. I let out a yelp, and was stunned/shocked about the pain. So was she.
At that point she realized that I had a retroverted uterus (which she would have known if she bothered giving a passing glance to my ultrasound), and admitted to me that she was going to need to try a different tack. By this time, I just wanted the hell out, NOW. But thinking I should just get this damn thing over with, that I should just suck it up and deal with the pain. I’m no wuss, I thought, I can take this.
The rest of the story is a bit of a blur. All I remember is she kept trying, kept complaining/worrying about how much I was bleeding. There wasn’t anyone else in the room. No one but her and me. She tried a “block”, which hurt like hell, and contained lidocaine and epinephrine. Yeah, epinephrine, I felt this swoosh run over my entire body – my heart began pounding and racing. She told me to just imagine I had too much Starbucks. I could hear HER breathing heavily, she was nervous. She was in over her head. Every time she tried to dig her way into my cervix, the pain was so searing I would jerk and tense up. I tried to deep breathe, but I just couldn’t get past the damn pain. I started suggesting maybe we could just stop, and it would be fine.
Finally, she gave up. She had me sit up, and I looked at the scene. Multiple bloody swabs and instruments littered the tray. That chintzy paper “blanket” they give you to cover my pelvic area and bottom had long since been on the floor. She handed me a pad, and said I could get dressed now. She immediately left the room. Still stunned and anxious, I quickly put my underwear and pants back on. That was it. She came back in with some literature on solutions for heavy menstrual bleeding.
I nervously left and drove myself home, about 30 minutes away. The anxiety really began? Am I bleeding? Will I pass out while I’m driving? Did she do damage to me? What would have happened if there had been a real complication? She already seemed to be in over her head. I’m still shaken up about this, and no one seems to understand why. Thanks for listening.
SabineFebruary 23, 2019
Kim, I got all teary eyed reading this. This is horrible! Stuff like this should not be happening to women. I’m so sorry you had this painful experience. It was for sure traumatizing and I’m sorry your husband doesn’t understand your pain and anxiety. I think this is one of the reasons why so many women suffer in silence. I remember feeling shaken up for several days. I felt violated and really sad for some reason. Most of the women who commented here had a similar (awful) experience… we do understand what you went through. Only a handful have been lucky to have a compassionate and experienced doctor who prepared them well and was gentle. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Wishing you the best of luck and a speedy recovery.
Amanda ParadisiFebruary 26, 2019
I feel they should prepare you and let you know what to expect, or better yet freeze you so you don’t feel the pain. I have never had so much pain in my life doing a EB. The doctor did not prepare me in any way, or tell me when he was to start . He just started and the pain got worse and worse, felt like my insides were being ripped out. I was so embarrassed screaming the foul F word out loud with no control. And when that procedure was done, the fun did not end. He also wanted a vulva biopsy. So he proceeded to freeze me with a needle, took the sample, and ended up stitched down below. None of this outcome was explained to me, and yes, this whole experience just felt weird and just not normal 🙁
SabineFebruary 26, 2019
Holy cow, what a horrible experience! What is wrong with so many doctors? Why don’t they communicate with their patients and prepare them? I just don’t get it! Thank you for sharing, Amanda. Hope you’re feeling better.
Susan CrosbyMarch 7, 2019
Oh my gosh, over 200 stories here!!! I just had this done today and thought I was a total wimp for my reaction. My doctor prepared me for “cramping” too (good grief, it’s not cramping, it’s PAIN). She gave me 5 Ibuprofen and a Xanax beforehand because I told her that I react to procedures down there – sometimes by fainting. But my reaction this time was swift and “No!”. I started by saying Ouch Ouch Ouch, I moved on to It hurts, I can’t. Crying came involuntarily along with “Please stop, please stop, please stop!!!!” After about 10 of those she stopped. Hadn’t gotten everything she needed, so I’m going in for a full anesthesia biopsy at a hospital next. I felt so defeated, so shocked and a bit traumatized by the experience. I haven’t cried and begged someone to stop the pain since vaginal childbirth without painkillers.
SabineMarch 10, 2019
Ugh, another nightmare experience. So many of us… I’m sorry you have to do it again… at least it’s with anesthesia. Good luck and thank you for sharing your story on the blog.
ShannonMarch 12, 2019
So I just read a lot of these experiences and I have to say that if I would have read a few of these I never would have had this procedure done. I had an absolute horrible experience and it traumatized me as well. If a woman does not feel pain during this procedure I have to ask myself, are you a woman? or even human? I think the women that have commented that it doesn’t hurt have made it possible for doctors to justify doing this archaic medieval procedure. I had no idea that I was even having this procedure done. I walked into Kaiser for a routine Pap test and when I told my new never before see overweight, unkempt doctor I was having some menopausal symptoms he said he was doing another biopsy. I was told it hurts some women and not others. The pain from this was so excruciating I wanted to die. It felt like I was going too poop and throw up at the same time! I started sweating profusely and my head was spinning. I started screaming Jesus Christ and God at the top of my lungs and I’m not even religious so go figure. I filed a complaint with Kaiser because I am still super angry and it’s been 4 days. I know this sounds disgusting but I just think the only way to describe this procedure to another woman is like this: Coat Hanger abortion procedure without any anesthesia. Yeah, that paints a very truthful picture. So if you have had a few of these in your life then maybe you won’t find this procedure painful but if you have been a good healthy woman with a normal pain tolerance I would request general anesthesia for this biopsy!!!!!
SabineMarch 17, 2019
Oh, the memories I have of Kaiser… Let’s just say I don’t have many good ones. Sorry you’ve been through hell. Most women who comment here feel the same. There’s only been a few exceptions. Not only is this procedure painful, it is traumatizing. Every time I read a new comment, I’m brought back to the day I had mine done. I cannot unsee it and words like scraping and suctioning come to mind. Ugh! Shannon, thank you for taking the time to comment. It’s much appreciated. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
Jess HMarch 19, 2019
I had a ultrasound and biopsy done at the beginning of this month and was not prepared for any of it. I went to my gynecologist because of heavy periods and painful cramping each month. They performed the regular papsmear and then the doctor told me she wanted to do an ultrasound in 2 weeks after I had my period. The following Monday I received a phone call telling me that my papsmear came back abnormal and that I needed a biopsy “to check for cancer”. Once they threw out that cancer word, I started to freak out a little. I’m a widowed mom of two, so of course I start thinking about what’s going to happen to my kids if I have cancer. The day of the appointment, they do the ultrasound and as I’m watching the screen I see the tech type in “Cyst Right Ovary”. So after that, I just stopped looking at the screen. Then they take me into another room and the nurse starts to explain the procedure. She said that it’s going to be “uncomfortable” and that I would have some “cramping” and that afterwards I would have some “light bleeding”. She says “It’s no big deal, I’ve had one of these done and it’s not that bad. It will be over in less than 5 minutes.” So, I’m thinking maybe I’m freaking out over nothing. Well, I wish she hadn’t downplayed it so much because I didn’t expect it to be so painful! To me, it felt like I was having a contraction. They’re poking me and I’m holding my breath so that I don’t yell out in pain. The nurse tells me to breath through it and to take deep breaths; which did help a little. When it’s finally over I’m laying there thinking am I being dramatic, because they made it seem like it would be no big deal? Then the nurse asks if I’m feeling nauseous and that some women have actually thrown up from the pain. I wanted to yell at her “Now you tell me!” I didn’t yell at her, though. I just said “No I’m fine, but can you bring the trash can closer, just in case?” They finally leave me alone to get dressed, and as soon as I stand up I started to feel light headed and nauseous. I’m trying to put my clothes on as quickly as I can because at that point I was ready to just run out of there but I was still a little dizzy! So I sat down and took a moment to get myself together taking deep breaths. The nurse comes back in and offers me an 800 mg ibuprofen which I obviously take. After the appointment I sat in my car for a few minutes and just cried. I had to go back to work for a few more hours, but I wish I had asked for the day off. All of my coworkers are men, so I had to sit there in my office and try not to cry in front of these manly men. One of they guys even asked me if I was okay. He said it looked like I had been crying, which I had, but I tell him “No, I’m okay”. Had it been a woman I probably would’ve said “No I’m not okay! I just allowed my doctor to stab my uterus!” The next appointment I ask the nurse about the ultrasound and how I saw the word “cyst”. She says, “Oh yeah, we all have cysts. I have a cyst they’re no big deal”. I don’t know if that’s her party line, or what, but it was not comforting. So the doctor comes in and tells me that my results were normal, and I felt so relieved. I don’t even want to ask him about the cyst because at that point, I couldn’t mentally handle any more information. I had some bleeding afterwards, and then to top it all off, my period came right after so I was bleeding for close to 8 days straight. Now it is two weeks later and I’m on my period again. I called the doctor’s office to ask if this is normal because my periods are always regular. The doctor said that some times the biopsy can throw off your cycle because they are literally poking inside your uterus. In the end, I decided to have a hysterectomy. In my case, there is really no point in having a painful and heavy period considering I had a tubal ligation after my second child was born. I’ll be going back in two weeks to have the hysterectomy.
Riki JustMarch 28, 2019
I had one last year and was not prepared for it and felt like the Dr. put a fishing hook in uterus, opened it up like an umbrella and pulled it out. Since I have had uterine and ovarian cancer the Dr. is very careful with each and every pap he gets back. Well another one came back negative and he wants to do it again. Unfortunately medicare will not pay for hospitalization so again it has to be done in his office. I don’t want to do it but the flip side is not good. I am dreading this and whoever tells you it doesn’t hurt is fibbing. I will take a pain killer and anxiety pill to try and help. Does anyone know how to do this without pain? 🙁
AngelaMarch 31, 2019
I feel so comforted to have read all of your stories. I had an endometrial biopsy two weeks ago and my experience was very similar to many of you. Incredible pain, cramping, and lightheaded afterwards. The nausea continued for the next three days and I am still dealing with the cramping and spotting. I had just gone in to discuss why I was spotting while on birth control and so there was no prep and no painkillers ahead of time. My doctor explained the procedure and that I would feel intense cramping and that it would hurt. I had a hysteroscopy a year ago and recovered way faster from that procedure. The results of the hysteroscopy and MRI showed that I have endometriosis as well as adenomyosis (which is like endometriosis within the walls of the uterus). Before doing the biopsy the OB/Gyn explained that having adenomyosis meant that the biopsy would hurt five times more than it should because of the uterine contractions. I actually appreciated her honesty but do wish I was prepared with medicine ahead of time. One thing my OB/Gyn had explained to me last year was the importance of “getting ahead of the pain” by taking Motrin two days before a period begins otherwise once you hit a high level of pain you can’t lessen the pain effectively. Most women don’t know they have adenomyosis until they’ve had a hysterectomy and the pathology shows the issue, my hysteroscopy just happened to pick up some cells. I’m wondering if this could explain the different experiences of women. Like many of the women on here, I had two kids with no painkillers and thought my pain threshold was very high, and here I am two weeks later still taking Motrin and dreading going to work tomorrow. Good luck to all of my sisters out there.
DebraApril 11, 2019
I had mine done yesterday. I have a severe pain medication allergies and took a half of my tramadol before going in. I was told it would be slightly uncomfortable kinda like cramping, but it would be over quickly. I have a low pain tolerance so I just kept telling myself it will be okay. I did no research because it had been explained as a small suction tube, would take maybe 5min, and might cause a little bleeding.
Lies all lies.
So to start off I have PCOS I am 32 and have been struggling with it since I was 18 when my periods stopped, which before this they were awful and painful. Right now I am not having periods even with medication so they wanted a biopsy to see what’s going on. Cool, not supposed to be that bad. I got my tramadol, low dose feeling nervous, but ready. I get into position and they start with a swab. Painful and the doctor says that should not of hurt and oh crap already bleeding. Oh great. Next she starts the biopsy. Fist she tries 3 times to get the tube in, it did not work she had to get a clamp. So now she gets the first tube in and my legs are shaking and I am crying out. Doctors say I know I know but keep breathing. First tube out, should be done, nope she does 2 more. Extreme pain.
Afterwards she tells me I could bleed for up to 2 weeks and it could get heavy. The pain can last for several days and be intense for a few days. She prescribed pain medication and an antibiotic to be safe after taking so many smaples. Doctor says there is now way to really prepare you for that. Me, yes there is explain it well so I am prepared.
So now I’m in bed sore as can be. My uterus is angry at me and I don’t blame it.
SabineApril 14, 2019
Debra, I believe you and I feel your pain. Ugh, so sorry they lied to you (too). It’s wrong and it needs to stop. Feel better soon.
SummerApril 17, 2019
wow, i’m so happy i’ve found this thread. i had an endometrial biopsy on April 3rd due to irregular bleeding (i missed a period for three months and i have had two miscarriages in the past year – including a d and c). i also had laproscopic surgery a year ago to remove a septum from my uterus (they thought this could be the reason for my miscarriages), i was also told that i had cysts removed from my ovaries and they were able to diagnose my early stages of endometriosis. i was told the biopsy would be uncomfortable but nothing prepared me for the pain and the trauma i experienced. while i was put under anasthesia for my d and c, i do recall waking up at one point due to excruciating pain. i was told that i wouldn’t feel anything and be asleep for the d and c but i remember yelping in pain. when i had my biopsy a few weeks ago, the pain was intolerable and i was terrified – or rather, i felt terrorized. i whimpered and cried and i felt so violated and mislead. what a horrible experience!!!! i empathize with the posts above and agree that if men were subject to these torturous procedures they would be put to sleep and highly medicated. i am awaiting the results of my biopsy but i feel that no news is good news and my follow up appointment is still a month away. thank you for sharing your experience, i went home and i cried for hours after mine. i feel its important for women to share their experiences with each other, it is a deep traumatic kind of pain where and when we are most vulnerable. sending love and healing thoughts to all. <3
andreaApril 22, 2019
i am almost in tears reading this. I have a long history with endometriosis but have been symptom free for years until last April. I had heaviness and fullness in my uterus and pelvic and groin pain. They did a uterine ultrasound and found fluid in my uterus. They decided to do a biopsy of the fluid. I was told, like many, that it would be cramping and similar to a PAP. It was hands down the most excruciating pain i have ever felt. All I remember is severe pain, screaming and then I passed out. I could hear the dr yelling for help as i tried to come to. I went out again and then finally back. I was so horrified at what had just happened, I laid on the bed for about 30 mins before they would let me leave. I wish I would have known that there was a possibility for this kind of pain. I would have had someone drive me, would have had my husband with me. Like others I was so shaken afterwards. Through this, they found that a chocolate cyst had ruptured and that was the fluid in my uterus. I have been symptom free up until the past couple of weeks (a whole year later.) I have an app next week, i will do an ultrasound but i will absolutely refuse another biopsy. They will have to put me under to do that ever again. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I don’t feel like I was just too sensitive.
CeciliaMay 17, 2019
I was diagnosed with PCOS in April of 2019. My doctor had then suggested that I should have a biopsy performed to ensure that I don’t have cancer as well. She warned me that it would be painful and that other women who she had performed the procedure on had equivocated the pain to childbirth. After being informed of this, I didn’t want to really think about what was going to happen and so I tried to brush the procedure from my mind. I went in for the procedure on 5/7/19 and waited for an hour (lower half undressed) staring at the instruments that were going to be used. Once the doctor came in, she looked at me and said “Your not going to cry now. I have others that cry.” She then proceeded through with the biopsy. I then felt pain. The pain was something I could manage as my tolerance is high, but because of how deep they go inside to get the biopsy I felt violated and wanted it to stop then in there. I began to cry. The Dr. then saw me crying and in an annoyed tone told the nurse “Uh, is she really crying?”. She then resumed and completed the biopsy. She saw me still crying and demanded that I look at the tissue that she ripped from me. The nurse then came to my side and held up the tissue a foot from my face as the Dr. commented “See, you didn’t even know when I took the biopsy. Most women scream or move away but you didn’t.” In the moment, I could not speak. I was traumatized from what had taken place. I did feel it, but I was just paralyzed. They then left me in the room alone without saying anything more. I laid on the table wishing that I had brought someone with me for support. Once I was able to get up, I immediately got dressed and ran out. Nobody ever went over the side effects that I should anticipate after the procedure.
It has been a week and a half since the biopsy was performed. Since the procedure, I have been bleeding, cramping, and also had a fever. The bleeding and cramping (really shooting pains) still haven’t stopped. The recovery for me has been difficult. I don’t believe that I will ever elect to have another biopsy unless under anesthesia. I have been lucky in comparison to the other women who felt more pain from the procedure. I have a message to say to y’all: I believe the pain you felt. I am so incredibly sorry that you had to go through that.
This procedure needs to change. The pain is both physical and mental. It is barbaric to not put the patient under while it is being preformed.
SabineMay 25, 2019
Thank you for taking the time to comment. I”m sorry you too had a bad experience. I agree, things have to change with this procedure.
AmyMay 20, 2019
I had a biopsy 2 hours ago. I was extremely anxious about it after reading of others’ painful experiences. I took 800 mg ibuprofen an hour before the procedure. I listened to a relaxation meditation on my phone while waiting for the doctor to help myself calm down. The procedure was very quick. I would not necessarily say painful, but extremely uncomfortable. I felt more of an achey feeling (and NOT a stabbing/knife) sensation. I noticed a very mild cramping feeling as well. Apparently, the procedure was fine, but I bled a little more than the doctor expected afterward and needed silver nitrate. It was more uncomfortable than a pap smear, but I drove myself to work immediately afterward and felt fine. I still feel fine, a little sore, but no residual cramping. The doctor did not use any numbing medication, so I attribute the good outcome to relaxation/meditation, ibuprofen in advance, a competent/compassionate/experienced doctor, and a supportive nurse. Relax, tell yourself it won’t be that bad, and keep positive. I’d rather have another of these than a cavity filled at the dentist! I realize everyone is different and you may experience pain with this, but keep a positive attitude and you got this!
SabineMay 25, 2019
Amy, I’m happy to hear things went well for you. Sadly, this seems to be a rare occurrence.
[email protected]May 23, 2019
Wow I’m relieved and horrified to read these stories. I’ve just had the same excruciating experience yesterday. How can we go about creating a change in the way the medical profession does this? I don’t think it’s humane:(
SabineMay 25, 2019
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ValerieJune 5, 2019
Thank you so much, Sabine, for sharing your experience so that other women will be more prepared and educated on what to expect from this procedure. To everyone whose biopsy was painful or traumatic, I’m so sorry you went through that. I just got back from having mine, and I wanted to share my experience because I hope it will be reassuring to anyone who is terrified of having it done, like I was. First, I should say that I have a pretty low pain threshold and get anxious about medical procedures, so I spent days before the biopsy reading every forum out there and getting so scared I almost cancelled my appointment. I’m glad I didn’t end up doing that, because while it was definitely unpleasant, it was quick and nowhere remotely as painful as I’d imagined. Before I had it done, I also talked to my mom and best friend, who’d both had endometrial biopsies and reassured me. My mom said her biopsy was more difficult than most because her cervix had closed up (that turned out to be the reason for her symptoms), but even so, it felt like bad period cramps and nothing worse. My best friend said it was a little worse than a pap test. That made me feel better, but I was still expecting the worst from everything I had read.
Since I’ve never given birth, my doctor said the procedure could be more difficult and prescribed misoprostol to help dilate the cervix. I took it last night and this morning, and it gave me mild period-like cramps. After the biopsy, my doctor said the medication had helped make things much easier, so this could be something to ask your doctor about. Before leaving for the appointment, I also took 400 mg of ibuprofen and some extra strength Tylenol for good measure (the doctor only said to take the ibuprofen, but I was panicked and read this is a safe combo). The doctor had me lay with feet in stirrups and put in a speculum like for a pap. I’m not aware of her using a clamp on my cervix like I’ve read often happens (I think this wasn’t needed because of the misoprostol). She said to expect cramping as the instrument was passed through my cervix, and although I did feel the (mild) discomfort of a foreign object, I honestly didn’t feel any pain, other than the mild cramping I already had from the medication. She took three samples, and this part definitely did hurt…enough to make me gasp and start breathing heavily. But it only lasted a few seconds, and then it was done. I definitely wouldn’t describe the pain as agonizing or unbearable, or anything like that. After she took the samples, she quickly removed the instrument and speculum, and I got dressed only a little shaky from anxiety. I had no pain afterward except, as mentioned, the mild period-like cramping that I think was more from the medication. The whole appointment (including the prep, follow-up chat, and dressing) was over in exactly 11 minutes.
So ladies, please don’t put off having this very important test done if you need it. I don’t mean in any way to minimize the pain or trauma other commenters experienced…everyone’s experience is different…but I hope anyone reading this will be reassured by this story. I would just recommend taking ibuprofen and/or Tylenol first, going to a doctor you trust, and asking about misoprostol if appropriate. Good luck on your test and your results, to anyone reading this. <3
SabineJune 7, 2019
Valerie, I think a lot of it has to do with having a doctor who is experienced, gentle and compassionate. “Surprise” biopsies are not ok, in my opinion. This procedure is a big deal and women should be well informed prior to having it done. Mine was a “surprise” and I was completely clueless about everything. Happy to hear you had a good doctor who prepared you well. Thank you for sharing!
ValerieJune 7, 2019
Yes, “surprise” biopsies are absolutely not ever OK, and it’s horrifying that a doctor would perform an invasive, painful procedure without properly informing and preparing you first! I’m so sorry you went through this traumatic experience. I honestly think that one reason for all of these upsetting stories is that women’s pain, symptoms, and overall healthcare are often minimized/disregarded (even by female doctors!). The reason I had mine was that I’ve been having major/abnormal bleeding and cramping for 2 1/2 years, but my original gynecologist kept telling me everything was fine and not to worry about it. He said that maybe I had a hormone imbalance, but he wasn’t going to prescribe medication because that would make me “bitchy” (as he put it). Finally, after I became severely anemic from constant heavy bleeding, my GP insisted I get a second opinion. Only then was I informed that a regular pelvic exam (which is all the other doc did) usually isn’t enough to determine the cause of these symptoms.
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Chris HansenJune 14, 2019
I ended up here as I was researching this procedure as my doctor has hinted more than once that she would like to perform it. I have read all I can find in terms of medical articles and clinical studies. I am not a medical professional and there could be (surely are) errors in what I have found but here is an attempt to a summary. Maybe it will help someone, and it certainly validates the anecdotes above:
In short, according to the research, around 50% of women experience moderate or severe pain during this procedure. The average pain level using one suction device was 6.2 (out of 10), and 6.9 using another device. Anything above 5 should be managed so these are not low pain levels. In general, women who suffer more seem to be those with a “less flexible” cervix, since a lot of the pain is related to moving the device through the cervical canal or clamping the cervix with a tenaculum. These include post-menopausal women and those who have never given birth, but it is hard to predict who will suffer and who will not.
It is “funny” that none of the articles mention the psychological impact. The anecdotal evidence above indicates that psychological trauma, or the sense of being violated or misled, can be just as bad as any physical pain. “Do no harm” surely includes psychological harm as well.
Doctor’s acknowledge that this is a painful procedure and many different methods to alleviate pain have been tried. Articles on “pain management during minor gynecological surgical procedures”, which include these biopsies, hysteroscopy with biopsy, leep and cone biopsies and others, mention several methods. The most common is to take nsaids prior to the biopsy. That does not generally help with the pain during the procedure, but tends to help with cramping afterwards. Misoprostol has been used to soften the cervix. This helps some, primarily post-menopausal, women with stiff cervixes (stenosis). Others feel that the Misoprostol leads to excessive cramping and nausea. Anesthetic can be injected around the cervix and also into the uterus. One trial (I believe it was in Iran), showed that doing this lowered the pain level from a 7 to a 2-4. Other trials have shown a 30% reduction in pain by doing this. Yet others claim that the injection is as painful as the procedure itself. Overall though, short of general anesthesia or conscious sedation, there does not seem to be many methods that work well.
Until some 20 years ago, these surgeries were performed under general or regional anesthesia in a hospital, but since the “tools” have gotten smaller, there has been a push to perform them in the doctor’s office instead. The national health service in the UK and insurers in the US, push for having even more of them done on an outpatient basis, since it is cheaper.
Personally, I get quite upset at this, I live in a, medically, highly advanced nation. I have good insurance and I am wealthy enough to pay out of pocket for pain management. When I go for other biopsies, e.g. at the dermatologist, they carefully numb the area, then inject it with a tiny needle while apologizing profusely, then they scrape off a tiny sample. Going to the gynecologist should not be any different. They operate in a very sensitive area of the body and suctioning out large pieces of tissue without any pain reduction is just barbaric. It is made even worse by them down playing it and claiming it is comparable to a pap smear. Excuses such as “it is fast” or “ it is such an important procedure” fall flat in my world. It’s quick to chop off a finger too, yet no one would dream of using that as an excuse for not reducing pain. And if the procedure is so important, then it is even more crucial to make it reasonable and agreeable for women.
If my doctor insists on performing this, I will demand sedation or injection with anesthetic. I might even try the misoprostol and Xanax, but I will not settle for nsaids only. I really wish that all women are given appropriate information and preparation to make choices that are right for them and hope that we may, collectively, pressure the medical community into practices that are more suitable for this century.
SabineJune 16, 2019
Chris, thank you for taking the time to comment. This is very informative. “And if the procedure is so important, then it is even more crucial to make it reasonable and agreeable for women”… I couldn’t agree more.
BrendaJuly 10, 2019
I was super anxious about the endometrial biopsy, but it was ok, nothing traumatic in my case. It was just a little bit more than a Pap and less than an IUD insertion. I took 800mg of Advil 30 mins before the procedure. I had a heating pad provided by the Dr office. My OBGyn was super helpful by counting from 1 to 3 at the “discomfort moment”; it helped me to align my breathing and sense of relief. Super quick. I think my high levels of anxiety for a whole week previous the procedure were unnecessary; I spent too much time reading forums on the internet trying to get a realistic view of how it could be. Hope this help the readers 🙂
SabineJuly 21, 2019
So glad yours wasn’t too painful. Thank you for sharing.
SilkeJuly 19, 2019
I had my endometrial biopsy and the Mirena IUD inserted the same time 2 days ago, for endometriosis. It was also a right then an there decision. I was totally naive, believing in that in todays modern medicine, nothing should be unbearable (I had laparoscopies before and a Jaydess), and that the procedure would be at the most only uncomfortable. Oh boy was I wrong. Even though my doctor injected my cervix with local anesthetic, first 2 times, and then 2 times more, then tears just started rolling down my cheeks, and I felt so helpless, realised it was more than just a little thing, then the real procedure started, and the local anesthesia did nothing for the pain, it slightly numbs the cervix, but it is in the uterus where the biopsies are taken you really feel the pain, I felt severe shooting pain, and I’m not a stranger to pain, I felt everything when the cervix was dilated and the finale, as I like to call it, when the biopses was taken I screamed out loud “owww owww owww – god dammmit it hurts!!!” it was like hearing another persons primal scream, an instict reaction I couldnt help myself from. Never experienced a pain like that before, and I have had surgerys before. And then I was having the IUD placed, and I asked her to please wait a minute, my whole body was just in a cramp, but doctor didnt wait to insert the IUD, she just said, I’m inserting the IUD now. It was way too much for my entire system. Then she removed the tools and lowered the chair, for me to lay down for a while, and they placed this sheet under me to take the bleeding, and I felt blood was pooring out of me, and I couldt move. I asked nurse for a glass of water because I felt like throwing up, and she came with a glass of lukewarm water, didnt help much. The nurse told me I was a trooper again and again. While I was laying there in my own blood. When I had to get up only minutes after, I had to use the green surgery cloth to hold under myself, while getting down from the table and walking from the table to the dressingroom, to prevent bleeding all over the floor, very humiliating.
Afterwards when I was dressed, I was asked to sit down by the desk, and she told me a lot of info, and gave me some written information and a folder that comes with the Mirena, but I don’t remember a thing I was told. Was just in deep raw pain having to sit up, thinking when can I leave and come home and go to bed.
My husband was outside in the waiting room, and he ran against me, as he saw me walking with tiny steps, are you okay, should I have gone with you?, and I said no, you would definately have regretted it if you went. Just take me home. Carride home was horrible. Then I layed in bed the whole day, had pain urinating, heavy bleeding, and felt the pain from were the biopsies were taken, that scraping pain inside yuck! Slept very poorly that night, due to both thinking about the procedure over and over and being in pain, even on painmedication.
Now 2 days later I feel very ambivalent. I was personally glad I didnt have to be put under, it was very quick but horrible, but I feel doctor should be earnest about the pain level this procedure holds, otherwise you cant make an informed decision. I am also a rapesurvivor, and in my case it angers me, that doctors dont respect that painful gynecological procedures can retraumatize you. This can in fact be lifethreatening, if you dont get biopsies etc because of the fear of pain, fear of loss of control, not being respected, being lied to about the amount of pain involved etc.
SabineJuly 21, 2019
Silke, this sounds horrible. I’m sorry you had this experience. I’m glad your husband was waiting for you.
Valerie AmatoAugust 2, 2019
I’m posting this only because I do want others to know it isn’t always horrible. I just got home from having mine, and I had zero pain and no more discomfort than I have had during routine paps. I have some cramping now, like when I used to have a period (I am 67) Part of the pain can be attributed from not having had a baby, which makes the cervix more difficult to dilate. I also took 1 oxycodone an hour before the procedure, which I’m sure took the edge off. I also had a very sensitive and careful gynecologist who has had the procedure done on herself. I did not feel the needle stick when she numbed my cervix so she could dilate it. The sampling itself took maybe 10 seconds altogether, and I didn’t feel that, either. I had to ask her if it was over already. I am not a stoic person and suspect I have a low threshold for pain, and prior to the procedure, I was already shaking and crying. I think much depends on how you are prepared for this and the skill of the doctor. I am so so sorry the women here had horrible experiences, but maybe from reading these accounts others preparing for theirs can do some things to mitigate the outcome i.e. ask the doctor if they have ever had one, and ask for an Rx to take ahead of time. If your doctor seems at all cavalier about it, I would not hesitate to look for a new doctor. I wish you the best of outcomes. Now I just have to get my results, which I hope will be negative instead of positive.
RachelleAugust 15, 2019
Thank you so very much for sharing. I’ve just left yet another gyno appointment where this one tells me that he would like to do this biopsy. 33 years of living with severe endo, originally naively doing all the things (tests, tablets, injections etc) that the docs or gynos wanted me to do, I learned the incredibly hard way after the depo provera injection to never do a thing without investigating it thoroughly myself. I told the gyno today that a simple pap smear will have me bleeding profusely, and he said that the biopsy would be easier. I told him to his face that I had long ago learned to never trust any of them and I would do my own research and get back to him. I’m glad I said that and I’m very happy I was able to find your blog (yours is the only one I’ve been able to find, all the rest are medical page links). So THANK YOU for sharing your experience, I definitely won’t be getting the biopsy done!
SabineAugust 15, 2019
Rachelle, so sorry you had this experience. Sadly, so many people think you’re crazy for not trusting every doctor and for doing your own research. To me, this is a red flag right then and there. Why wouldn’t they want you to be educated and prepared… it’s your body.
JiAugust 16, 2019
I’m so glad I found this article, I thought I was crazy and was the only woman that was in excruciating pain… I had the procedure done last week and was not mentally or physically prepared for the amount of pain. Had to tell the doctor to stop…. I felt so much anger for the rest of the day and didn’t know why doc said it would only feel like “cramping”
KarenAugust 28, 2019
I just had one done today unexpectantly. I was referred to a gyn to get examined due to frequent periods since my primary is trying to treat my iron deficiency anemia and rule out possible causes. The doctor was great and did warn me about the cramping. However, I would never do this again. I got so sick quickly into the procedure that she had to end it. I immediately was breaking out into a sweat, lightheaded and then was vomiting. The cramps were so bad. The vomiting would not stop. I felt weak. My face broke out in broken blood vessels from vomiting. She does not think that she got enough sample. We are going to wait and see how my periods will be for the next 3 months. If I have to do this again, I will get in done in a short procedure unit. What a day!!!!!!!!!! Never again.
JazzSeptember 28, 2019
My experience was extremely traumatic. When my doctor told me I needed an endometrial biopsy, I had already read about the associated pain level and immediately begged for anesthesia or an epidural. He laughed and said that wasn’t possible. Despite my repeated pleading for actual pain relief, he refused anything stronger than plain old Motrin. Because I was so terrified that I was shaking and having a full blown panic attack at the thought of the biopsy, he scheduled it for the next day. I begged for an anti-anxiety pill (something I’ve never taken before), and he initially refused, stating there was far too much risk of addiction. Never mind that I’ve never exhibited the slightest addictive behavior before. However, when he saw how terrified I was, he agreed to prescribe two Xanax and gave my husband control over them. He also was extremely condescending, asking me if maybe I didn’t want to have a baby because I was afraid of OBGYN procedures, “but being a mommy is really great.” When I asked him questions about the pain level of the procedure, he evaded the question and wouldn’t answer other than repeatedly saying, “It’s different for everyone.”
When I came in the next day, I had to wait in the room for 45 minutes staring at the instruments laid out precisely on a white cloth. Before the procedure, we asked the nurse if they could at least do some numbing or local anesthesia, and she said they don’t do that. When the doctor came in, he didn’t say anything comforting and instead went through legal disclaimers, asking me to verbally confirm I consented to the procedure. He then handed me a dum-dum lollipop “to distract you.” The speculum must have been larger than what he usually uses because it pinched and scraped me, and when I said “ouch” he ignored it. When he clamped my cervix with the tenaculum, I screamed involuntarily. Then the worst part came. I felt like he was shoving tiny knives into me. He never explains anything he’s doing and wasn’t talking to me at all, but I think he was dilating my cervix as I’ve never given birth. I remember hyperventilating from the pain and the nurse telling me to focus on my lollipop. Then I felt an excruciating pain in my stomach and think I blacked out for a few seconds. My husband said I screamed for about 15 seconds, but I only remember a few seconds. The doctor walked out of the room without a word to me as the nurse put a cold cloth on my head and I realized I couldn’t feel my fingers.
They promised to call but of course didn’t. So of course I feared the worst. My husband finally called for me, and not only did they not call him back for hours, but they refused to release the results. He finally begged them to just tell him if it was cancer, and several hours later they called back to say it wasn’t. (I found out in my follow up appointment it was something chronic but not life-threatening.)
I had pain for weeks afterwards. When I mentioned it at my follow-up appointment, the doctor said sarcastically, “Well, we could do an exam, but I know how traumatic those are for you.” (Um…no. Your performing outpatient surgery on me without any numbing is traumatic for me.). He then said that pain for a couple weeks is normal because of how hard he clamped my cervix (which I’m pretty sure he bruised).
I did everything in my power to get pain relief for this procedure but was denied. By a doctor who’s one of the top ranked in my city. What I’ve learned is to say no and find another doctor. I will never let anyone hurt me the way he did again. And I will do everything in my power to help prevent other women from going through what I did.
SabineOctober 7, 2019
Wow. Everything about this is horrible. So sorry you had to go through this. Some people should never be doctors… they have zero compassion.
LoriNovember 14, 2019
I had an endometrial biopsy done today along with a saline ultrasound for some spotting. When they told me they wanted to do the procedure, I was (like so many others, it seems) told that “it’s a little crampier than an internal ultrasound”. I honestly didn’t look anything up prior to the procedure, because I didn’t want to be more scared than I already was. I figured it would be bearable – I’m 47 years old and I have given birth to 5 out of 6 of my kids without so much as a Tylenol. I have a high pain tolerance, so I wasn’t TOO concerned.
Again, prior to the procedure, I was told by both the doctor and US tech that it would be “a little crampy”. I was not told to take any sort of medication beforehand (although not sure Motrin would have helped anyway). I was totally unprepared, because HOLY COW – it was horrible! The biopsy literally felt like someone was stabbing me through the belly button with a knife! I have never felt that much pain. She wanted to get 4 samples – I think she got two because she wanted to “go back in” a second time and after that, yep, wasn’t going to happen again. I literally yelled out, cried – I did not even do that while giving birth. I agree this is completely barbaric and some kind of anesthetic should be offered. Never again.
I felt like such a baby yelling and crying during the biopsy – I really did. I felt like an idiot. So I decided to do some research about it and ended up here. I’m so glad I did. I feel so much better knowing that my reaction was definitely not atypical and my feelings about this are shared by many. As a nurse myself, I think it’s terrible that this procedure is so “downplayed” so that we are not prepared for what it actually feels like and not offered anything to prevent that. Thank you to everyone who posted. I read my husband some of the comments because he was with me and I believe he thought I was over-reacting.
TheresaDecember 16, 2019
Wow. This page needs to be turned into a book and should be required reading for all women before consenting to an endometrial biopsy. Just as important it should be required reading for all GYN docs and nurses. They need to know exactly what they are doing to us. My story is very similar to most here, however it took place at a VA Medical center. I’ve been to several Veteran’s Administration medical clinics over the past 15 years, and GYN care is severely inadequate, to put it nicely. I thought my appointment was just for an exam, but someone neglected to tell me ahead of time about the biopsy. When the doc asked me if I had “taken my Advil” I said “no, why?”. I was about to find out real fast. And I must mention I have a LOW pain threshold. But similar to an earlier poster, even if I had it wouldn’t have made a damn difference. “You might feel a little pressure”, and seconds later I was stabbed in my gut with what felt like a razor sharp poker. I screamed and the nurse or aide or whoever was suddenly next to me, holding down my arms and scolding me, telling me it can’t be that bad. The doc scowled and said he didn’t get a big enough sample and needed to go back in for more. I told him NO WAY. He said he could send what he had to the lab, but if it wasn’t enough I’d have to come back. I’d driven 125 miles one way and missed work to be there. I wasn’t about to come back. I pleaded for pain medicine but he said there was nothing he could give me. So back in he went, another sharp stab and this time cramping too. When it was finally over I was told to clean up and get dressed. The room cleared and I just lay there sobbing, tears streaming, vowing to never set foot in that place of horrors again. Thanks for your story, and for giving me and all the others a place to share our stories. Hopefully less women will be forced to undergo this procedure without being given the option for pain medicine and/or light sedation.
SabineDecember 22, 2019
Theresa, I feel your pain and I’m sorry you had to be subjected to this. The more stories I read, the more I’m convinced that doctors are intentionally downplaying the procedure. How many women have been told this same line “You might feel a little pressure”? The doctors must know this is BS. Is it really just about the money? This quick procedure brings in well over $1,000. Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate it a lot. Merry Christmas to you.
Joyce CrawfordMarch 27, 2020
I just had my second endometrial biopsy. The first one was 3 1/2 years ago by a very experienced OB doctor. It was painful, but not unbearable. This time I had a young nurse practitioner and the pain was so bad that I was crying out and finally told them that I couldn’t take any more. The nurse practitioner actually told be that she was sorry that it had been so uncomfortable. I immediately replied that this was way beyond uncomfortable. I felt violated by being put in such a vulnerable position where I could not control what was being done to me. No person should be subjected to any procedure that causes such pain in this age of so-called modern medicine. Where is all the concern for managing a patient’s pain that requires nurses to rate it on a scale and be sure that they have interventions available to ease the patient. They sure don’t seem to apply to performing tortuous procedures on patients in a doctor’s office. Oh, and by the way, I’m a nurse and have been one for 41 years. The only thing that I can recall ever having to do to a patient where we couldn’t control the pain for them, was changing bandages on burn patients. Some things are unavoidably painful, but an endometrial biopsy shouldn’t have to be one of those. I will never submit to being in that position again.
Lynn HJuly 14, 2020
The day I went for an ultrasound , I was told the EB would be done afterwards. Luckily I had googled EB , as my dr had mentioned it, and found various sites discussing how awful an experience it could be. So when they said the biopsy would follow that same day, I told them it would have to be under sedation and I wanted to be completely out and unaware. I am scheduled for a hysterescopy in their procedure room the end of July. 65 yrs old. No children. I am a wimp when it comes to pain. I applaud all who have been through it, and agree something needs to change with this procedure/information, etc. My doctor never mentioned anything about the EB or taking meds beforehand.
bkcJuly 31, 2020
No warning other than to say “Some pressure.” It was excruciating and she couldn’t get in there so we had to reschedule and do it again two weeks later. She was about to give up the second round when the instrument popped through and dug into my uterus. That part didn’t hurt amazingly. Or maybe it was just that the giant speculum was so painful. The speculum they use for that procedure must be elephant size. I was so swollen it hurt to sit or move for 4 days. It is insane what they put women through without anything to deaden the pain. No information. Just surprises. Since then I have experienced tremendous anxiety just to have the annual exam.
In telling a new doctor about my history all I had to say was biopsy. She grimaced, turned away and said “Those are so painful.”
This needs to change!
Salina HauserSeptember 3, 2020
Thank you so much for this article I ended up posting this on my own facebook page to bring awareness of this crazy procedure.
I recently had to go through a Endometrial Biopsy yesterday and I felt the need to bring some awareness to how incredibly traumatizing and painful it was. This is a bit of TMI but ladies this one’s for you.
If you suffer from irregular bleeding and/or extremely painful periods odds are your gynecologist will suggest you have a Endometrial Biopsy to try to figure out why. My gynecologist at the time said that it would not be a problem to have it done and it would feel like period cramps. Let me explain what they actually do during the procedure to give you a bit more of an idea.
“The biopsy is obtained through the use of an endometrial suction catheter that is inserted through the cervix into the uterine cavity. Twirling the catheter while moving it in and out of the uterine cavity enhances uptake of uterine tissue, which is aspirated into the catheter and removed.” I researched this all before going in and many of the medical articles I came across only mentioned that I would also have mild cramping while it was done. A big F you to all of those medical websites. I should have searched up real life experiences instead.
I was a bit nervous I couldn’t get the same gynecologist I had originally since she was away on vacation but as I wanted it done due to the heavy bleeding I was experiencing I had it scheduled with another doctor I have never met before. It was my first time meeting a male gynecologist but since I thought the procedure wasn’t gonna be that bad I went with it (There is nothing wrong with male gynecologists but there is something that eases the mind when you are dealing with the same-sex on something so intimate and embarrassing).
When I met this new doctor he was incredibly kind and easy to talk to. I asked him how the procedure will feel and he told me straight up that it will hurt ALOT but for only 40 seconds. He said it will start like a cramp and then get more extreme and then there will be cramping afterwards. I panicked and was not prepared for that response since my other doctor said it was nothing but mild cramping but thought “I have a high pain tolerance. I can do this” HA. I was not prepared at all for what it felt like.
It began like a cramp and then it slowly got worse and worse. It felt like my insides were being slashed and ripped out from within. I gasped and it was one of those cries that were inaudible and you can’t breathe through. I started crying out in pain and all I could think about was wishing my husband was there with me through it but the pandemic has made new rules that extra people can’t be there. I also wished I prepared myself more on what was happening. I could not believe my lady doctor lied to me about this procedure.
The doctor was so sweet and tried to guide me through the process.And finally it was over. I was already bleeding heavily when I came in which made the process even more embarrassing and traumatic. Afterwards it felt like worse heavy bleeding and I just layed there head feeling dizzy and trying to recover after crying. He sat with me and asked me if I was ok as it is common for women to feel like they are going to pass out. Just another thing I did not know about this.
I don’t know why but I apologized for crying and he said, “No, I would cry too. There is nothing to be ashamed about at all. It is over now and it is my turn to figure out what is going on with you. Just work with me and we will figure it out.” I cried again my emotions were all over the place. I was so thankful at least I had a doctor that even though he would never know what it felt like to go through this he was truly empathetic about what just happened.
Both the nurse and doctor left the room and I was to get dressed. I don’t know if anyone else can relate to this moment but when you have to get dressed after a gynecologist visit or when something like that happens to you and you are there in that cold room with the smell of copper it is like you are in shock. You have to clean yourself up, put a pad on and walk out like nothing just happened. You feel violated because you were.
As I walked out I couldn’t help but cry walking down the hallway, the pain was severe. The face mask I had to wear the whole time did not help. I felt weak, stressed and traumatized. I went down to the pharmacy to get my medication and could barely understand what the pharmacist was saying. I was zoning out. I got in my uber who drove like he was in fast and furious, trying not to cry on every turn, and went home and just cried and crawled into bed. It was awful.
That night I tried to look up real experiences about the procedure and I finally came across this article and while reading it and the comments I cried again because I was glad and sad knowing that what I went through is actually incredibly common. So why the fuck is it so hard to find what it is like to actually go through this and why the fuck is there no god damn numbing applied! ALSO Why the fuck are there gynecologists out there down playing what it is like to go through this! I could only assume the male gynecologist thought I knew what was coming because he must have thought my primary female gynecologist kept me up to date on what it would be like.
I wanted to write this to let other women know how this feels so they can be more prepared for something like this when your gynecologist wants to do it and know that there are tons of other women that know what you are going through. I hope one day tech advances far enough that this shit isn’t necessary.
I thank the male gynecologist for being as gentle as he could during this and how empathetic and caring he was about it. I hope if you find yourself in this position that you find a gynecologist as good as he was in handling my freak out.
SabineSeptember 14, 2020
Salina, thank you so much for sharing your experience. Although it’s been several years since I had this biopsy, I can tell things haven’t changed one bit. I’m sorry you weren’t told the truth. Makes you wonder what else doctors lie about. I hope and pray your body has healed since your procedure was done. Thanks again for taking the time to read the numerous comments on this post and sharing your experience. God bless.
Susan MorenoOctober 3, 2020
I had my biopsy yesterday and feel like I am not the same person. About a month ago I had a UTI and ended up in ER. Well the doctor took every test and found a cyst and said found thickness on my walls. Of course freak me out when he started to talked about cancer. So here I feeling I have 5 years to live and set up appointment for a biposy. Did a Ca 125 and came back normal . Then scheduled a pap and biopsy. Gave me 800 mg , which was a joke , knowing what what going to happen to me. After reading some of these post , I try to laugh but it hurt to much. I say laugh because I think to myself what what the fuck just happened to me and could relate all the other women pain and they definitely need to make some changes. The nurse said I did good and that some woman scream and there is blood everywhere. Are you the same nurse the said a little pinch and mild cramps= shame on her. Then the doctor said its probably because of menopause. All this to tell me I am going thru menopause. At this point could care less about the results. Its like they took a part of me. Having a hard time moving around. How long did it take you to recover?
Susan MorenoOctober 11, 2020
It has been over 7 days and have some lite bleeding. I wish the doctors would not tell you will be back to normal in a couple of days. Thank you for this post and would like to hear more on recovery. I read on one post the doctors said 6 to 8 weeks to heal which sounds more like it and not pick up heavy items for a few weeks rather then say a couple of days. A couple of days wanted to go to ER. I am 63 years old. Probably because not being told the truth about recovery. Not all woman recovery in 3 days.
pam bowersJanuary 27, 2021
I just got off the telephone with my Doctors nurse who was trying to schedule me for a biopsy. I am 69 years old and have been diagnosed with a thickened uterine lining. I have had ample time to research this procedure in between my ultrasound results and the biopsy appt. I told her that I wanted to be sedated in the OR because of the pain of the procedure. It’s very bad for a lot of women. She said that “it’s just like period cramps.” I asked her if she had ever had it done? She said no but that she had heard it doesn’t hurt that bad from several women who have gotten it done in the office. I told her that I wanted it done under sedation. I wasn’t taking the chance. She said she would ask the doctor and call me back. I told her I would like a referral to another doctor if my doctor can’t do it the way I want it done. I am waiting for the call back. If she can’t give me a referral I will find a doctor myself.
SabineFebruary 1, 2021
Pam, good for you for standing up to your doctor. She never had it done, but tells you “it’s just like period cramps.” Hope it all goes well for you.
Valerie AmatoFebruary 1, 2021
I feel so sorry for all of you who suffered through this procedure. I had to have it done, as I had post menopausal bleeding and a worrisome ultrasound. I was a nervous wreck going into it and even had my husband there holding my hand. The female gyn was very gentle and reassuring, and told me what was going on every step of the way. I have a prolapse, which can make even the insertion of instruments tricky. I braced myself when she said she was going to take the sample. I literally felt nothing. Not so much as a pinch. Nothing. I’ve had speculums inserted for pap tests that were much worse. I would hate for someone to decide not to get this test that might literally save their life, because they are fearful of the pain. I think the key is to find a gyn who comes with good recommendations because it seems like this procedure doesn’t have to be painful. If you live in Washington state, I’ll be happy to give you my gyn’s name.
PaulaFebruary 1, 2021
Valerie, I’m so, so glad your experience was nothing like the agony that I experienced, and I think it’s lovely and very caring of you to be worried about people avoiding a potentially life-saving procedure because fear of pain.
That being said … from all I’ve read (on this and other sites), this is a procedure that is painless or merely “uncomfortable” for a lucky few, and literally excruciating for others (as it was for me). Certainly, I would agree that a careless practitioner could make things worse … but I think patients’ physiological differences are much more likely to explain the enormous swings on the pain spectrum. My own doctor acknowledged that while he had has a few patients over his many decades who weren’t particularly bothered, most experienced severe discomfort, many experienced agony, and for some, the pain was so bad that the procedure had to be abandoned midway and re-performed under general anesthesia.
For myself, I will never undergo this procedure again without full sedation. Even now, 5 months later, thinking about it makes me feel clammy and nauseated.
Valerie AmatoFebruary 1, 2021
If I had had your experience, I would feel the same way. I have IBD, and the prep for my 2 colonoscopies left me sitting in a corner on the bathroom floor crying in horrible pain for the entire night. Most people says it’s unpleasant and they’re running to the toilet most of the night. But for me, the agony is such that I will never get one again unless my life depends on it. There are ways to check my colon without going through that kind of suffering ever again. So I totally agree with you and others. I don’t know why mine was painless, as I don’t have a high pain threshold. And it makes me angry when pain tolerance levels are equated with courage or toughness.
Jessica BolzFebruary 9, 2021
The biopsy is definitely painful and I consider myself as having a high threshold as well as I ma a 4 time cancer survivor. I have had 4 biopsies and they never get easier. Feels like a metal straw with a pointed edge is being shoved way up into your vagina and then poking your uterus and pulling. The only ray of light is that it lasts for a minute tops but its brutal and you must breathe through it or you’ll feel like passing out. I sometimes bleed heavy after mine and sometimes its light. I have an IUD in treat dysplasia but its just hell to go through and never knowing what is normal and what isn’t ( including the amount of bleeding after the biopsy)
laura madsenAugust 27, 2021
Sabine, I appreciate this blog (and the comments) more than you know. Your experience in 2015 mirrored my experience earlier today. I, too, had a surprise uterine biopsy that was unbelievably painful. I felt nauseous, started to sweat and passed out for a minute or so. The primary difference was that the doctor and nurse were wonderful. The doctor saw that I was loosing all of my color and ensured that a nurse stay with me. It took me about 20 minutes to even feel fully conscious. During that time they put cold washcloths on me, brought me ice water and reassured me that a lot of women have the same reaction. That said, I did feel like I was being some sort of wimp (as another person put it) the entire time. Now, reading your blog has made me feel so much less crazy (and so much less “wimpy.” ) Thank you.
AndiDecember 22, 2021
I had a biopsy done without being prepared as well, had an MRI on my hip, they found a cyst on my ovary. I went to my OBY/GYN to check it out. I should mention I’m 55 and have a very high risk for breast cancer. Anyway, I had vaginal sonogram, and tummy sonogram, then I was taken to room to be checked by my doctor. He thought the cyst needed to be removed but was willing to watch it for another 3 months, but due to some bleeding on/off and HRT he wanted to do a biopsy and the CA-125 blood test. He asked how many children I had and I said none, never been pregnant, he explained the process and told me it would hurt. But I had no idea it would be severe pain. I thought I was a tough old broad. ha! I had my feet in the stirrups and pushed all the way back and he was telling me to please be still and started counting backwards as he was doing the procedure. I let out a scream and was kind of hollering ouch ouch omgosh that hurts. When done, he asked if I was ok, I immediately started sweating and told him I’m just hot. Really hot! He turned a fan on me, made sure I would not pass out, then told me to take my time, get dressed and then they would take me down the hall for blood work. I am still having cramps – day 6! Not as bad today, I think I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It is a very painful procedure, 1 and done for me. I will NEVER have this procedure done again without some sort of drugs. Praise God my biopsy came back negative but my cancer blood test came back high, so I do have to get both ovaries removed and tested. I am thankful my doctor is cautious about cancer in my family but that procedure should be done with a local in my opinion. Thank you for sharing your personal experience. As all the websites say the pain is minimal. ha! Not!
SabineDecember 27, 2021
Andi, thank you for sharing your story. It is a painful procedure. Glad you’re doing ok.