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Colposcopy (cont.)


After the Colposcopy Procedure

Following the colposcopy, you should wear a sanitary pad. Small amounts of bleeding may occur for 3-5 days. You may see on the pad dark, fluid material, sometimes green, resembling coffee grounds. The fluid is normal because you are expelling the solutions used during the exam. However, you should avoid douching, sexual intercourse, vaginal medications, or tampons until the bleeding stops.

Next Steps after Colposcopy

Your doctor uses several findings to determine results of the procedure. The acetic acid causes areas of abnormality on the cervix to stand out. Biopsies undergo microscopic inspection at a pathology lab, often with special chemicals. A pathologist will determine normal cells from abnormal cells and send a report to your doctor.

You may have to wait several days for lab results. Your doctor will discuss the findings with you either during an office visit or by telephone. If you do not have the results within 2-3 weeks, call your doctor, unless other arrangements have been made.

When to Seek Medical Care for Colposcopy Complications

Call your doctor if any of the following occur:

  • If you experience heavy bleeding (more than 1 pad every 2-3 hours), or if bleeding lasts more than 5 days
  • If you develop a fever, worrisome vaginal discharge, or increasing or continued pelvic or abdominal discomfort for longer than 24 hours after the exam

With colposcopy, complications requiring emergency care are rare. If you experience severe abdominal or pelvic pain, dizziness, uncontrolled bleeding or fever, seek immediate help at the nearest hospital's emergency department.

Medically reviewed by Martin E. Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery


"Patient information: Colposcopy (Beyond the Basics)"

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2017
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Colposcopy »

Literally translated, colposcopy (colpo: vagina; scope: to look)means to look into the vagina.

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