What the vaginal discharge looks like varies from woman to woman; some women will only need a panty liner after the procedure, while others may need to use a regular sanitary napkin for protection. Color, smell, and consistency will also vary.
A very dark discharge is completely normal. It often looks black, dark brown, or even dark red and has a grainy consistency, like coffee grounds. Some women may also experience a more unsightly discharge that looks a lot like raw chicken skin or human tissue, with blood mixed in. Again, this is normal after having a colposcopy. Some women have even erroneously assumed they were pregnant and had a miscarriage because of how the discharge looks.
The cause of the dark and skin toned discharge is caused by a paste called Monsels Solution that is applied to the cervix to stop bleeding after a biopsy. It has the consistency of toothpaste and is mustard colored. When it is expelled from the vagina, it can become black and grainy. It may also appear yellow or skin toned and look like human tissue because it is thick.
It is not unusual for the discharge to have an acidic or vinegar smell. During the colposcopy, your doctor applied an vinegar solution to your cervix to help identify abnormal tissue. It should go away in a day or two. If it does not go away, becomes worse, or smells infectious or foul, contact your doctor immediately as it may be a sign of infection. You should also call your doctor if you experience:
- heavy bleeding (bleeding through a pad an hour)
- fever (100.4 degrees or higher)
- chills or shakes
- spotting/vaginal bleeding that lasts longer than 7 days
- severe cramping that is not relieved with over-the-counter pain medication
- bright red bleeding
- no sex for a specific amount of time
no heavy lifting (more so for those who had a cervical biopsy with colposcopy)
- no tub bathing for first 24 hours