Colposcopy: Indications and Complications

Colposcopy: Indications and Complications | HealthSoul

Colposcopy is a procedure to look at a magnified view of the cervix and the vagina.

What is Colposcopy?


This procedure is done on an out-patient department basis like the pap smear. You will be required to lie on the examination table with you ankle resting on the stirrup. Your doctor will insert a speculum into your vagina to visualise your vaginal and cervix wall. Before examining the cervix your doctor might use cotton calls to clear the mucus. Following examination of cervix your doctor might apply different types of solution on your cervix to identify suspicious group of cells. You might feel slight tingling sensation when the solution is applied. The solutions most commonly used are vinegar and iodine. Inform your doctor if you are allergic to iodine. On spotting a suspicious lesion your doctor will want to take a small sample from there to determine its cause. This is done with the help of a sharp biopsy instrument. Cervical biopsy may cause mild discomfort. Vaginal biopsies may cause pain; hence your healthcare provider will give a local anaesthesia before taking a vaginal biopsy.

Indications of Colposcopy

Your doctor will suggest you undergo a colposcopy if:

  • Results of pap smear have shown atypical cells
  • Genital warts present
  • Precancerous lesions in vagina or vulva are suspected

Indications for Colposcopy

Complications of Colposcopy

Complications, though rare, may occur after a biopsy is taken. They are infection of pelvis or the biopsy site, and heavy bleeding. You are advised to contact your doctor if you experience fever, abdominal pain or heavy bleeding following the procedure.


You will be free to go home as soon as the procedure is over. If a biopsy was taken, you will be advised to use a pad for a day or two to catch the blood from the biopsy site. You might experience mild pain for a few days. You will also be advised to refrain from using tampons or engaging in vaginal intercourse for a few days.