What is a colposcopy?
A colposcopy is often recommended when a Pap smear report comes back abnormal. Typically, a Physician will perform the colposcopy with a device called a “colposcope”, which is a device similar to a microscope. The colposcope helps the physician view the cervix better by magnifying it in order to locate any suspicious areas on the cervix that cannot be viewed by the naked eye.
Is a colposcopy painful?
You may experience minor discomfort similar to a menstrual cramp. If biopsies are taken, you may feel a “pinching” sensation. Typically, any discomfort is mild and temporary.
What is a biopsy?
A biopsy is a sample of cervical tissue taken with a “biopsy punch”. One or more samples may be taken from your cervix if any “abnormal” looking areas are identified by the physician. The specimen is then sent to an outside laboratory for evaluation, and results usually come back within 5-10 days. You will be asked to come back into the office to review the results with the physician.
Will the biopsy be painful?
If a sample is taken with the biopsy punch, you may feel a slight pinch and experience some pain similar to a menstrual cramp.
If you need to have a scraping of the endocervical canal (the passageway from the opening of the cervix to the uterine cavity), there may be some discomfort and some abdominal cramping but you should not have any severe pain.
If you wish, you may take some over the counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Advil one hour before the procedure or after the procedure as needed. Please follow the instructions on the package for dosing. Anesthesia is not necessary for this procedure (You will not be “put to sleep”).
What should I expect after the procedure if a biopsy is taken?
You may have an abnormal discharge for a few days. This discharge can appear blood-tinged or vary in color depending on the solutions/medications we use during the procedure. During this time use a sanitary pad if needed.
You should avoid heavy exercise for 24-48 hours after the procedure to allow time for healing.
If you experience bleeding heavier than your heaviest menstrual flow, severe abdominal pain, fever or foul vaginal odor please return to the clinic for evaluation.
You should avoid putting anything (tampons, douching, and intercourse) in the vagina for at least 7 days.
For any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Women’s Health at 404.894.1434.