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Deep breath. Have you had an endometrial biopsy?


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Stupidly I got on the internet and, while some of the women said it hurt but was fine, many said the pain was excruciating and they passed out.

 

My dr. didn't say a word about taking Advil or whatever ahead of time. A woman on the internet took some and said it was a joke. Okay, now I'm freaking out.I

 

I think I need to have one next week. Bleeding doesn't stop. I'm 48 and in peri menopause and want to think the bleeding is about peri men. but my dr. says we can't assume that.

 

I'm at the point where I want to ask for a darvocet or some kind of serious pain killer.

 

Can you share your experience/your thoughts? I don't even know what kind of pain killer to ask for: Valium, Darvocet? Perc-something?

 

TIA,

 

Alley

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I had an endometrial biopsy last April. It involved a five second pinching/heavy cramping sensation and then was over. I had no symptoms afterwards. I had the biopsy as part of the protocol before my endometrial ablation. I'm sure everyone's experience is different, but I did not find it to be bad. I've had two natural childbirths so my pain tolerance/ability to manage it is high, but I didn't need to employ any pain management techniques for the biopsy, nor did I take any type of medication, prescription or non prescription.

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Is there a way to ask for an ultrasound first, to check for things like fibroids? That is what I can do. They can easily see fibroids on an ultrasound, in fact, one was just spotted on my normal OB ultrasound. :( And I'm only 30. Fibroids are known to cause problems with bleeding, esp. in perimenopause.

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I agree with Teaxsmama. Mine was not much worse than a pap. It was more uncomfortable than painful. I didn't take anything before or after. I didn't have any pain or bleeding after the fact. I also have a pretty high pain tolerance and have had natural (as in med-free) childbirth.

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Oh, you guys have made me feel so much better. Note to self: Never, never, never hop onto any ole site on the internet for medical questions. I wonder if trolls go onto those sites and post horror stories. . . ?

 

Now, I will say that I had an epidural and still felt tons of cramping. Meaning I'm not great w/ pain and have not given birth naturally. Major salutes to those who do.

 

Thank you!

 

Alley

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It wasn't pleasant but it was not unbearable. I had med free childbirth too so I handle pain ok....I just don't handle weird things like a biopsy of my insides that well.

 

After the biopsy I had to have an ablation and it did hurt. It just kind of freaked me out and to be honest I wish I had taken a driver and asked for a don't care pill.... It was more like a bad period for about a week....crampy icky feeling.

 

Everyone is different though. I gave birth with no drugs but I have to have laughing gas for a root canal.

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I had one years ago and it wasn't pleasant but not too painful.

 

I recently had a different biopsy and almost passed out. They said it was very common. It wasn't due to pain because I felt nothing but pressure. It was just the whole event. The dr. said she was almost done and then she asked if I was ok, because they could tell by my bp dropping and the fact I lost all color, that I wasn't. They put a washcloth on my head, propped me up a bit and talked me through it. I didn't pass out but I couldn't drive myself home like I planned. Hope it all goes well.

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I had one this past year and it wasn't much different than a pap. I was a little freaked out because my period hadn't stopped before my appointment as I had tried to calculate before setting the date. However, my dr. said that it was better to have flow since my cervix was more open and easier to insert instruments. I did not have any pain after the proceedure. I hope it goes easy for you.

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I recently had one done to check for uterine cancer (which runs in my family). DON"T READ FURTHER IF YOU DON"T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT A NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE: For me, it hurt a lot. I was literally writhing in pain on the exam table and crying out loud with tears streaming down my face. It was comparable to birthing, but didn't last as long. It was quite painful. I told my husband that if I ever had to have it done again (which I expect that I will someday), then I am going to demand that I be sedated/put under. ETA: I just read people's responses that said it was like a pap exam. Wow. I'm shocked. A pap exam was NOTHING compared to this. The endometrial biopsy felt like a knife cutting through me... well, come to think of it, that's pretty much what was happening. (LOL)

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I had one about a year ago, for the same reasons you mentioned. I too googled it ahead of time and was wishing I hadn't. ;) I did take ibuprofen ahead of time and kept taking it throughout the day. But like most others have said, I didn't find it horribly painful, just uncomfortable. I felt a few little 'pinches' and then it was mainly just mild cramping. No pain afterward either.

 

Hoping it will be mild for you too!

 

Stupidly I got on the internet and, while some of the women said it hurt but was fine, many said the pain was excruciating and they passed out.

 

My dr. didn't say a word about taking Advil or whatever ahead of time. A woman on the internet took some and said it was a joke. Okay, now I'm freaking out.I

 

I think I need to have one next week. Bleeding doesn't stop. I'm 48 and in peri menopause and want to think the bleeding is about peri men. but my dr. says we can't assume that.

 

I'm at the point where I want to ask for a darvocet or some kind of serious pain killer.

 

Can you share your experience/your thoughts? I don't even know what kind of pain killer to ask for: Valium, Darvocet? Perc-something?

 

TIA,

 

Alley

 

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I had one done a few months ago. I was expecting it to be really painful and was pleasantly surprised that it was mild discomfort at the most. I mentioned my surprise to the doctor and she said that the biggest source of discomfort is passing the cervix. However, if you are someone who has had several children (and presumably a 'softer' cervix) the discomfort isn't that great. I think A LOT depends on how comfortable you are with gyn procedures to begin with. If it isn't something that gives you the hebee-gebees, you will probably be fine. If gyn stuff freaks you out, take a pain reliever first, and ask for something to relax you.

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It hurt. The immediate pain was grit your teeth, shed a tear or two. The pain driving home became excrutiating. I was scared and crying and screaming. My daughter helped me into the house. 30 minutes later, I had visitors (stressful visitors) and was okay.

 

I don't say the above to scare you. I had serious issues so that could have made it worse. And it was fairly short.

 

I would say have someone take you. The drive home was downright scary.

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Stupidly I got on the internet and, while some of the women said it hurt but was fine, many said the pain was excruciating and they passed out.

 

My dr. didn't say a word about taking Advil or whatever ahead of time. A woman on the internet took some and said it was a joke. Okay, now I'm freaking out.I

 

I think I need to have one next week. Bleeding doesn't stop. I'm 48 and in peri menopause and want to think the bleeding is about peri men. but my dr. says we can't assume that.

 

I'm at the point where I want to ask for a darvocet or some kind of serious pain killer.

 

Can you share your experience/your thoughts? I don't even know what kind of pain killer to ask for: Valium, Darvocet? Perc-something?

 

TIA,

 

Alley

 

My dear friend, Please get darvocet.. You must not move during the procedure or the uterus can be perforated. I had one, it hurt like heck, it came back clean and I quit smoking the next day. 7 years ago. I still remember the discomfort. I am not trying to frighten you but want you to expect significant discomfort. Please get a pain pill, have someone drive you and be still so the MD can get the sample without injury to the uterus. I am glad that you have an MD who cares so much about your well being though. I wish you the best and if it helps, I would be there holding your hand until it was over. All will be well. Have a blessed New Year. elizabeth

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I agree with this. My experience was very similar.

 

I recently had one done to check for uterine cancer (which runs in my family). DON"T READ FURTHER IF YOU DON"T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT A NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE: For me, it hurt a lot. I was literally writhing in pain on the exam table and crying out loud with tears streaming down my face. It was comparable to birthing, but didn't last as long. It was quite painful. I told my husband that if I ever had to have it done again (which I expect that I will someday), then I am going to demand that I be sedated/put under. ETA: I just read people's responses that said it was like a pap exam. Wow. I'm shocked. A pap exam was NOTHING compared to this. The endometrial biopsy felt like a knife cutting through me... well, come to think of it, that's pretty much what was happening. (LOL)

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I had one done a few months ago. I was expecting it to be really painful and was pleasantly surprised that it was mild discomfort at the most. I mentioned my surprise to the doctor and she said that the biggest source of discomfort is passing the cervix. However, if you are someone who has had several children (and presumably a 'softer' cervix) the discomfort isn't that great. I think A LOT depends on how comfortable you are with gyn procedures to begin with. If it isn't something that gives you the hebee-gebees, you will probably be fine. If gyn stuff freaks you out, take a pain reliever first, and ask for something to relax you.

 

I know you didn't intend for this to be patronizing, but I can guarantee that the pain I felt was not merely a psychosomatic response to being uncomfortable at the GYN office. Also, as you can see from my signature line, I've had several pregnancies and yet still experienced intense pain.

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I had one done a few months ago. I was expecting it to be really painful and was pleasantly surprised that it was mild discomfort at the most. I mentioned my surprise to the doctor and she said that the biggest source of discomfort is passing the cervix. However, if you are someone who has had several children (and presumably a 'softer' cervix) the discomfort isn't that great. I think A LOT depends on how comfortable you are with gyn procedures to begin with. If it isn't something that gives you the hebee-gebees, you will probably be fine. If gyn stuff freaks you out, take a pain reliever first, and ask for something to relax you.

 

I know you didn't intend for this to be patronizing, but I can guarantee that the pain I felt was not merely a psychosomatic response to being uncomfortable at the GYN office. Also, as you can see from my signature line, I've had several pregnancies and yet still experienced intense pain.

 

You're correct in assuming no patronization was intended. And, honestly, I have re-read my post several times and I just don't see a patronizing tone. I am sorry I've inadvertently offended you.

 

I was simply sharing my doctor's observation: Women who have given birth TEND to have a softer cervix which allows the currette to pass with less discomfort.

 

I then added my own opinion based on what I've learned during the (Bradley methods) births of my children: Anxiety tends to cause tension which in turn causes pain which in turn causes increased tension- thereby perpetuating a vicious cycle.

I never, at any time, intended to convey the attitude that any pain, including your pain, is a psychosomatic response to gynecological procedures, but rather IF you already have a fear (hence tension) you might want to request a prophylactic relaxant.

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I know you didn't intend for this to be patronizing, but I can guarantee that the pain I felt was not merely a psychosomatic response to being uncomfortable at the GYN office. Also, as you can see from my signature line, I've had several pregnancies and yet still experienced intense pain.

 

I wish I hadn't read this thread, but I guess I'm surprised at all the women here who say they have had this? What are they doing all these endometrial biopsies for? What sort of symptoms require this? Can't they see anything on ultrasound?

 

Not a fan of biopsying anything here. If it's bad, cut it off. If not, leave it alone. (Have had a few skin things cut off).

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Stupidly I got on the internet and, while some of the women said it hurt but was fine, many said the pain was excruciating and they passed out.

 

My dr. didn't say a word about taking Advil or whatever ahead of time. A woman on the internet took some and said it was a joke. Okay, now I'm freaking out.I

 

I think I need to have one next week. Bleeding doesn't stop. I'm 48 and in peri menopause and want to think the bleeding is about peri men. but my dr. says we can't assume that.

 

I'm at the point where I want to ask for a darvocet or some kind of serious pain killer.

 

Can you share your experience/your thoughts? I don't even know what kind of pain killer to ask for: Valium, Darvocet? Perc-something?

 

TIA,

 

Alley

 

How long have you been bleeding? (If you don't mind the question). I'm pretty much done with it all now (though I did have a period last week after many months), but it was some weird ride in the late 40's and early 50's. For a few months, I didn't leave home much on days 2 and 3. So that isn't unusual. I had three periods in six weeks once. Of course I'm talking about bleeding that stops, not endless bleeding.

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I had one about 7 years ago for the same reason, non-stop, heavy bleeding.

 

I think I was advised to take Tylenol beforehand. It was uncomfortable, similar to a PAP smear, quick, but more sharp/intense. I consider myself a big baby. I would not want to take anything that would prevent me from driving home on my own, personally.

 

You know, I think you CAN assume your bleeding is related to your peri-men and hormones, but I think it's good to rule out other possibilities, especially when it's simple to do so. Whatever you take beforehand, be sure to check with your dr. You wouldn't want something that could increase your bleeding from the biopsy.

 

The one thing I would encourage you to do is seek a second opinion if your doctor writes you an oral prescription for progesterone. It may be "identical," but it is NOT "bio-identical." Your best resource would be a naturopath, although it can be difficult between insurance/cost/availability. OTC bio-identical progesterone cream was the only things that provided some small measure of relief.

 

After a few debilitating years (from the horrible, unpredictable bleeding), I finally had a Novasure ablation. I sought out a doctor who specifically used Novasure, after reading about it here on the boards. It gave me back my life.

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I wish I hadn't read this thread, but I guess I'm surprised at all the women here who say they have had this? What are they doing all these endometrial biopsies for? What sort of symptoms require this? Can't they see anything on ultrasound?

 

Not a fan of biopsying anything here. If it's bad, cut it off. If not, leave it alone. (Have had a few skin things cut off).

I had a uterine biopsy as a protocol prior to having my endometrial ablation. I had a sonogram first to rule out large fibroids/other issues which would make me a poor candidate for the ablation. The biopsy is the medical protocol before the ablation because, as my doc stated, "We want to make sure we are not burning cancer." The biopsy was not an option if I wanted the ablation. I'm sure there are many other reasons for biopsies, but that is the reason I had mine.
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I had a uterine biopsy as a protocol prior to having my endometrial ablation. I had a sonogram first to rule out large fibroids/other issues which would make me a poor candidate for the ablation. The biopsy is the medical protocol before the ablation because, as my doc stated, "We want to make sure we are not burning cancer." The biopsy was not an option if I wanted the ablation. I'm sure there are many other reasons for biopsies, but that is the reason I had mine.

 

I know several people who have had an ablation with no biopsy. I will say your doc makes sense.

 

Sorry, I don't know how to multi quote....

 

To the poster who said, " Anxiety tends to cause tension which in turn causes pain which in turn causes increased tension- thereby perpetuating a vicious cycle." How can you not be anxious or tense knowing they are getting ready to pinch you? And in "there?!"

 

To the poster that asked why people are getting them...my mom has tissue that grows, then bleeds (she's 64 and this has been going on for years). She has an ultrasound and then a biopsy. It comes back normal. They removed the tissue. Repeat a few years later. I think she's finally done with it because it is very uncomfortable for her and it's never anything.

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Okay, I am honestly shocked that there is such a wide variance in pain experience with this procedure. I am now wondering if there are different methods of this procedure? One that causes more pain, and one that doesn't? Because I honestly cannot fathom how some would consider it to be a "pinch" or like a pelvic exam, while others of us were writhing in pain with tears streaming down our faces (while not having any pain associated with normal pelvic exams). It just doesn't seem possible. :confused1:

 

For the person who asked why it's being done in the first place...

 

I had been experiencing very heavy periods and huge amounts of clotting. My mother had uterine cancer in her late 40's, so the doctor thought it would be a good idea to see if I was having that same issue, too. I had an ultersound first to rule out fibroids.

 

(And TammyK and I worked out our seemingly contentious responses to each other through private messaging. No worries.)

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I have had this done twice. Once probably 15 years ago while exploring our options thru infertility and again last month as a pre cursor to my hysterectomy. It's not the most pleasant experience but I only experience a little spotting in the 24 hours afterwards. I remember taking a tylenol before this time and had no pain at all. For my first I don't think I took anything first but took something after for the minor cramping. HTH.

 

I think also your prior experiences will color how you perceive this procedure. I've had so many things done to my "girl" parts over the years that this most recent experience shocked me as to just how easy it was to do. However, I wasn't always that easy going as far as procedures and remember crying just from an ultrasound due to the stress associated with that.

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  • 3 years later...

I've had them before ... the first time was incredibly painful and it was determined that my cervix was stenosed. This was a test to be done before my ablation. She just couldn't get in, so I was going to be scheduled for 2 hysteroscopies, 1 to do the biopsy and the second to do my ablation. Well, about 2 weeks passed and I was in for my pre op appointment, and my OBGYN says "your cervix looks really soft ... do you want to see if I can get in this time? If I can, we only need to do one hysteroscopy". Of course I said yes. She slid right in easily and the only pain I had was just the part where she snipped and sucked the sample. Just 2 days ago I had a saline ultrasound and again, my cervix was not cooperating, and the pain was beyond horrible. Here's my question ... I've since read that your cervix changes throughout your cycle. I was close to ovulation when she was able to slip in and just a few days past my flow when she couldn't. Why can't they do these procedures when the cervix is softer? I think the pain comes from a tighter cervix and never the actual tissue sampling. Might be something to ask if you need this test done.

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I had one done a few months ago. I was expecting it to be really painful and was pleasantly surprised that it was mild discomfort at the most. I mentioned my surprise to the doctor and she said that the biggest source of discomfort is passing the cervix. However, if you are someone who has had several children (and presumably a 'softer' cervix) the discomfort isn't that great. I think A LOT depends on how comfortable you are with gyn procedures to begin with. If it isn't something that gives you the hebee-gebees, you will probably be fine. If gyn stuff freaks you out, take a pain reliever first, and ask for something to relax you.

 

If this is the case you can always ask for a cervical block, where they numb the cervix. I had them do that for my IUD placement. Many people say putting in an IUD isn't bad, but my body reacts badly and it was BAD BAD BAD. So I had them stop. Then numb my cervix. That totally fixed it. 

 

So I'd tell your doctor in the beginning that you don't want a lot of pain, and make them promise to stop if you tell them to. that will give you some control. If it gets too bad and you have to make them stop then you can come back and have sedation. 

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Oops. Just realized this thread originated in 2012....

 

------------------------------------------------

 

:grouphug:

 

I had one last year & took an advil before (which is what the doctor advised).

 

The advil did nothing. It did indeed hurt while it was being done (and brought tears to my eyes). I would say I was in pain for a total of about 5 minutes. (Doctor took two different samples.) Realistically, they are cutting into you. (Or using something akin to a hole punch? I'm not sure & I don't want to look it up on the internet to know, lol.) Once it was over, it was fine. I did take more advil when I got home, but I didn't hurt then. I did have light spotting for about the next 24-hours.

 

When my sis found out (after the fact) that I had a biopsy done, she thought I was crazy to have just taken advil & said I should have demanded a better pain pill in advance. (She's had a lot of health issues through the years & various biopsies. She says she won't do a biopsy w/out some kind of painkiller ahead of time.)

 

So, if you're not great with pain, I'd suggest calling the doc & asking for something you could take an hour or so before that will make you not care. But, then, you will also need someone around to drive you to/from your appointment.

 

ETA: I am surprised that so many compare it to a pap. To me, a pap is nothing, doesn't hurt at all or bother me in the least. The biopsy is an entirely different category & literally took my breath away as tears sprung to my eyes. Obviously, it wasn't as bad a childbirth (for one thing, it's only minutes vs. hours or days), but it certainly wasn't pleasant or pain-free. If I need a biopsy in the future, I will be taking my sister's advice.

Edited by Stacia
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Ask ahead of time for premedication, and have someone go with you to drive you home.

 

I took 800 mg of ibuprofen, and it hurt enough to need to do deep breathing during the procedure, but it did not last more than a minute. I bled like a stuck pig afterwards, so use the pad they give you.

 

 

Ooh, zombie thread... brains... :zombie:

Edited by trulycrabby
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I had one and, while there was pinching and cramping, I didn't think it was that bad. The doctor told me I must have a very high pain tolerance because many women have much worse reactions. If I were you, I would ask the doctor about taking a pain reliever in advance of the biopsy.

Edited by mom2scouts
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I had one done a few months ago. I was expecting it to be really painful and was pleasantly surprised that it was mild discomfort at the most. I mentioned my surprise to the doctor and she said that the biggest source of discomfort is passing the cervix. However, if you are someone who has had several children (and presumably a 'softer' cervix) the discomfort isn't that great. I think A LOT depends on how comfortable you are with gyn procedures to begin with. If it isn't something that gives you the hebee-gebees, you will probably be fine. If gyn stuff freaks you out, take a pain reliever first, and ask for something to relax you.

This was my experience as well.

 

Eta: my bad for zombie posting.

Edited by SeaConquest
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  • 4 months later...

I've had 3 due to bleeding two times after menopause. The first time they didn't get enough tissue so it had to be repeated.

 

I've had two natural childbirths. They told me to take 600-800 mg ibuprofen an hour before. Since it didn't seem to help, the 2nd time i took 5 mg Vicodin. That didn't help either.

So then the 3rd time I took 7.5 mg oxycontin and still I felt like I'd had nothing! I only felt tired about 2-3 hours after.

 

The pain was from the instrument going through and slightly dilating the cervix but i think also the suctioning to get tissue. She told me this time she was pretty vigorous and did it 3 times because there wasn't much there to be had.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi I just had one today and it DEFINITELY IS NOT AS BAD AS PEOPLE SAY.. I TOOK 3 MOTRINS AND IT WAS FINE! as long as your dr is trained properly..  but it was a smidge like a pap smear.. slight pump sensation in stomach.. but NO PAIN ... a little uncomfortable.

 

I hope this eases anyones anxieties .. I have heard some cramping sensations but motrin should help..but the procedure itself not that bad and I have extremely low tolerance for pain  

 

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  • 1 year later...

Before anyone has a biopsy please know that not everyone experiences pain.  Those who have never had children are much more likely to hurt.  Belive me when I say you NEED to have a conversation abt pain control BEFORE you go in for the apointment. 

 

There is a group of MD's on the National Institute of Health (NIH) website for MDs that have researched a procedure to lessen the pain.  The initial researcher infuses a 2% solution of lidocain (sp) into the uterus by inserting a very thin tube (a drain tube) thru the cervix.  This does NOT hurt. Then, X amnt cc's of the soiltion is injected into the very thin tube and ends up in the uterus.  The first researcher had the patients sit there for 2 minutes.  There are some thoughts that for optimum effacacy the patient should have her bottom on an upward angle so the solution satiates the top of the uterus where the biopsy is usually focused.  This researcher reported a 33% reduction in pain.  Another MD adapted this by having the patient sit there for 10 minutes and had even better results.  I actually spoke with the first researcher and he swears by it.

 

PLEASE ask your MD to look into this via the NIH website.  It costs very little and it worth a shot.  If he/she is unwilling to do this then move onto a diferent MD.  This procedure is so painful it has caused me serious PTSD.  I had it almost four years ago and I still suffer from the MEMORY of the procedure.  Also make sure that you tell the MD that she neds to stop when YOU say so!!  YOU are in control and no one else!  Also - make sure the Gyn does a pelvic exam prior to the procedure.  This is necessary becasue it allows the MD to determine the position of the uterus which, in turn, lessens the chance of perforation.  My Gyn did not do this and my uterus was punctured.  That in of itself is not necessarily a disaster but you CAN develop a serious infection.

 

Do your research on reputable websites like NIH, MAYO, CDC, NCI, SLOAN KETTERING and AMERICAN JOURNAL FOR OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY.

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