A colposcopy is a painless exam and is usually performed in the doctor's office. Normally, a colposcopy is completed in 30 minutes or less.
Colposcopy RisksRisks associated with having a colposcopy include:
- vaginal irritation from vinegar solution
- bleeding (if biospy is performed)
- infection (if biopsy is performed)
How to Minimize the RisksYour doctor will send you home with a list of instructions. These instructions usually advise:
- no sex for a specific amount of time
- no tampons
- no douching
- no heavy lifting (more so for those who had a cervical biopsy with colposcopy)
- no tub bathing for first 24 hours
When to Call Your DoctorAfter a colposcopy, it is normal to experience spotting. If a biopsy it done, a thick, brownish discharge can also be expected. Some women experience minor cramping that can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications.
Call your doctor if the following occurs:
- bleeding through a sanitary napkin in an hour
- spotting for more than seven days
- cramping that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medications
- fever of 100 degrees F or more
- bright red bleeding
- foul smelling discharge
- "Special procedures: Colposcopy." American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 18 Feb 2007 <http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp135.cfm>.