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What exactly is a colposcopy and does it hurt?

Just wondering what a colposcopy entails... and if it is uncomfortable or hurtful and how long it might last!

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Asked by Mskixxalot at 9:00 PM on Sep. 7, 2010 in Health

Level 8 (219 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • They stick a camera up your butt to view your colon and I'm sure it hurts but from what I remember in med school they lube it up so it dont hurt as much going in

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 9:03 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • It is a camera they insert into your rectum while you are under general anesthesia so no it doesn't hurt. You do have to drink some stuff to clean out your colon the day before and no eating. They are looking of irregularities that could cause later problems.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 9:04 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • It does not hurt.

    Colposcopy is a simple, 10- to 15-minute painless procedure that is painless and performed in a gynecologist's office. You are positioned on the examination table like you are for a Pap smear, and an acetic acid (such as common table vinegar) is placed on the cervix.

    Your physician will use a colposcope -- a large, electric microscope that is positioned approximately 30 cm from the vagina -- to view your cervix. A bright light on the end of the colposcope lets the gynecologist clearly see the cervix.

    During the colposcopy, the gynecologist focuses on the areas of the cervix where light does not pass through. Abnormal cervical changes are seen as white areas -- the whiter the area, the worse the cervical dysplasia. Abnormal vascular (blood vessel) changes are also apparent through the colposcope. Typically, the worse that the vascular changes are, the worse the dysplasia.

    Answer by Glamourina at 9:04 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • They will give you some good drugs and you won't care what they do to you. =P The worst part is the prep. You have to be "cleaned out" before they can do the scope so you will be given a laxitive to take the evening before so there will be nothing in your colon. You should be done with that part before you go to bed, so you should sleep ok

    Answer by karamille at 9:04 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • Oh I misread too. Glamourina is right. I got the wrong hole with my answer. =P

    Answer by karamille at 9:06 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • What Glamourina said is correct....a Colposcopy is different than a Colonoscopy. It is done in the Gyno's office and it is a fairly quick procedure. It can be painful but it is over quickly and you can go straight home afterwards. Good Luck Mama.

    Answer by hsmominky at 9:06 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • Cont'd

    I had one done when I was 19. There should be no pain from the colposcopy. If you experience any pain during the procedure, it is not from the colposcopy itself.

    Answer by Glamourina at 9:06 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • You know what! Glamourina is right! I miss read the question. I thought it said COLONoscopy!

    Answer by But_Mommie at 9:07 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • Directly from

    You may want to take a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, 30 to 60 minutes before, especially if a biopsy may be done. This can help decrease any cramping pain that can be caused by the colposcopy.

    Your doctor will put a speculum into your vagina. The speculum gently spreads apart the vaginal walls so your doctor can see inside the vagina and the cervix. The colposcope is moved near your vagina and your doctor looks through the microscope at the vagina and cervix. Vinegar or iodine may be used on your cervix to make abnormal areas more visible. Photographs or videos of the vagina and cervix may be taken.

    If areas of abnormal tissue are found on the cervix, your doctor will take a small sample (cervical biopsy) of the tissue. Usually several samples are taken. The samples are looked at under a microscope for changes in the cells that may mean cancer may be present or is likely to develop. cont...

    Answer by kathria at 9:08 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • If a sample of tissue is needed from inside the opening of the cervix, a test called endocervical curettage will be done. Since the endocervical canal cannot be seen by the colposcope, a small sharp-edged tool called a curette is gently put into the endocervical canal to take a sample. ECC takes less than a minute to do and may cause mild cramping. An ECC is not done during pregnancy.

    Colposcopy and a cervical biopsy usually take about 15 minutes.

    How It Feels: You may feel some discomfort when the vaginal speculum is inserted. You may feel a pinch and have some cramping if a biopsy sample is taken.

    After the test: If you have a biopsy, you may feel some soreness in your vagina for a day or two. Some vaginal bleeding or discharge is normal for up to a week after a biopsy. The discharge may be dark-colored if Monsel's solution was used. You can use a sanitary pad for the bleeding. Do not have sex or use tampons for 1 week.

    Answer by kathria at 9:10 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

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