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A biopsy involves removing a small piece of tissue from the body for microscopic examination and testing.

Bone Density Test

Bone density measurements are done to determine if you have low bone mass (osteopenia or osteoporosis). It predicts your risk of future fractures and helps doctors determine if you will need drug therapy.

Breast Biopsy

This test is done when a mammogram reveals an abnormality in the breast and it cannot be confirmed as benign (non-cancerous). It involves removing all or part of the abnormal tissue and may be done by open surgery (with a scalpel) or by one of four needle aspiration techniques: fine needle aspiration, core needle biopsy, vacuum-assisted biopsy, or large core biopsy.

Cervical Biopsy

A cervical biopsy is performed to evaluate abnormal cervical tissue found during a Pap test or colposcopy.


This test is usually done if the cervix looks abnormal during a routine examination or if a Pap test shows abnormal cells. Your doctor may also order it if you have genital warts or if your mother took DES when pregnant with you. A colposcope is placed in the vagina and used to magnify the area of the cervix where an abnormality is suspected. If abnormal cells are found, your doctor may do a biopsy of the area.

Endocervical Curettage (ECC)

This procedure is frequently done in conjunction with a cervical biopsy. It involves taking a sample of the tissue just past the opening of the cervix as a precaution against missing any abnormal tissue.

Endometrial or Uterine Biopsy

This test, done to obtain a sample of the endometrial lining of the uterus, may be used to investigate abnormal menses (heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods, post-menopausal bleeding), infertility, and chronic infections. It is useful in detecting uterine polyps,uterine fibroids, uterine cancer, and adenomyosis.


During this X-ray procedure, dye is injected into the uterus to outline any irregularities of the uterine wall. The dye may or may not travel through the fallopian passages so they can be evaluated as well.


This low-dose X-ray provides a picture of the internal structure of the breast. It is used to detect tumors and cysts.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

An MRI scan may be used to identify the location of uterine fibroids. When there is a question about whether you have fibroids or adenomyosis, an MRI can usually tell the difference.

Pelvic Ultrasound

This test produces an image of your pelvic organs by bouncing sound waves off them. Both transabdominal (the ultrasound wand is moved across the abdomen) and transvaginal (the ultrasound wand is placed in the vagina) ultrasound scans may be done. It is used to evaluate conditions such as uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.

Toluidine Blue Dye Test

This test is used to evaluate abnormal changes in the vulva. The dye is applied on the vulva and causes skin with precancerous or cancerous changes to turn blue.

Fluid-Contrast Ultrasound (FCUS)

This procedure is an adaptation of standard [pelvic ultrasound]. It is used to evaluate the lining of the uterus and the uterine cavity. It can measure the thickness of the uterine lining (endometrium) and reveal the texture of its surface and any abnormalities such as polyps or fibroids. A small catheter is inserted through the cervix into the uterus and an ultrasound wand is placed in the vagina. A sterile solution is slowly injected through the catheter into the uterine cavity and the area is imaged with the ultrasound.

Vaginal Culture

This test involves collecting cervical mucus to identify the cause of an infection.