Endocervical Curettage

The cervix is the neck or lower part of the uterus. It protrudes into the top of the vagina. The front or outer surface of the cervix has squamous cells. The canal (endocervix) opens into the uterus and has columnar cells and glands. Different conditions can cause changes in these cells.

An ECC is done to get a tissue sample from the endocervical canal to look for abnormal cells. This procedure is sometimes done as part of an exam called a colposcopy, in which your caregiver takes a close look at the surface of your cervix because of an abnormal Pap test result, the presence of genital warts, bleeding or pain. This procedure can also be done when doing a D & C. Or, you might have chosen endocervical curettage to find out more about abnormal results of a previous colposcopy.

LET YOUR CAREGIVER KNOW ABOUT:

  • If you have a recent vaginal infection.

  • If you have a menstrual period or are bleeding.

  • If you are allergic or had a reaction to anesthetics.

  • If you are allergic to any medications.

  • If you are taking medications. This includes herbs, over-the-counter drugs, eye drops, creams and steroids.

  • If there is a possibility of being pregnant.

  • If you have had any past problems with your cervix.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

  • Excessive bleeding.

  • Infection.

  • Injury to surrounding organs.

  • Allergic reaction to anesthetics or medications.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

  • Do not take aspirin or blood thinners a week before the procedure. These can cause bleeding.

  • Do not douche or use tampons for at least 3 days before the procedure.

  • Do not have sexual intercourse at least three days before the procedure.

  • Arrive at the office or clinic one hour before the procedure to read and sign any forms and consents.

PROCEDURE

  • For this procedure you will be asked to undress from the waist down. You will need to lie on an exam table with your feet in stirrups. Your legs and belly will be covered with a sheet.

  • A speculum will be used to open the walls of your vagina

  • A drug that numbs the area (local anesthetic) may be used.

  • A sharp curved-like instrument will scrape cells from the canal, cervix or endocervix.

  • Medicines may put on the surface of the tissue to stop any bleeding.

  • The scraped tissue sample is sent to the lab (separate from the biopsy that was taken from the front of the cervix) to see if there are any abnormalities.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • You may have some mild cramping pain.

  • You will rest in the office or clinic until you are stable and feel ready to go home.

  • Have someone take you home.

  • You may go back to your usual diet.

  • You should be able to go to work the next day.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Take medications and follow your caregiver's instructions.

  • Do not take aspirin because it can cause bleeding.

  • Do not drive until the next day.

  • Do not douche, use tampons or have sexual intercourse until your caregiver says it is OK to do so.

  • Take your temperature twice a day. If it is 100° F (37.8° C) or higher, call your caregiver.

  • A small amount of bloody spotting is normal and will go away in a couple of days.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You need stronger medication to control your pain.

  • You develop abnormal, heavy or bad smelling vaginal discharge.

  • You get a rash.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Bleeding is heavy like a menstrual period.

  • You develop a temperature over 102° F (38.9° C) or higher, especially if you also have chills.

  • You become lightheaded, weak or faint.

  • You develop shortness of breath.