Endocervical Curettage

Definition & Procedure

Definition: An endocervical curettage, or ECC, is a procedure where a curette--a spoon-shaped instrument--is used to scrape the mucous membrane of the endocervical canal (the passageway between the cervix and uterus). This procedure obtains a small tissue sample, which is then sent to a pathology lab to be examined for abnormal cells.

An endocervical curettage is performed during a colposcopy and takes just a few minutes to perform.

In fact, in most cases the tissue sample can be taken in a matter of seconds.

Some women report brief, moderate to severe discomfort during the ECC. Women can expect to feel mild cramping, much like menstrual cramps, following the procedure.

Endocervical Curettage Procedure

An endocervical curettage procedure is a diagnostic procedure that obtains a tissue sample from the mucous membrane lining of the endocervical canal. The procedure is performed to collect abnormal cells for further testing. 

The endocervical curettage is a biopsy that is usually performed as part of a colposcopy, a procedure that magnifies the cervical area. It uses a curette, a narrow instrument, to scrape cells that line the walls of the cervical canal.

Preparing for Your Endocervical Curettage Procedure

It is preferable that you not be menstruating when you have your endocervical curettage procedure. It can make the results of the procedure less accurate.

Your doctor will be able to obtain a better view of your cervix.Before your procedure you should make sure that you do not do any of the following:

  • Do not take aspirin or blood thinners
  • Do not douche or use tampons for at least three days before the procedure
  • Do not engage in sexual intercourse for at least three days before the procedure

    You will need to have someone escort you home after the procedure. 

    During the Endocervical Curettage Procedure

    During the endocervical curettage, your cervix and vagina will be moistened with either a vinegar or iodine solution to remove mucous and highlight the area being biopsied. The procedure takes less than a few minutes to perform, and in most cases, the tissue sample can be taken in a matter of seconds. Some women report a brief pinch during the procedure. You can expect to feel mild cramping, much like menstrual cramps, for a few days after the procedure. There may be some vaginal bleeding and a dark discharge for a few days.

    After the Endocervical Curettage Procedure

    You will have to limit some of your activities so that your body can heal. You should not engage in sexual intercourse, use tampons, or douche. If you have heavy vaginal bleeding, severe lower abdominal pain, fever, or chills, you should contact your doctor right away.

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