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Why it's done

Open all pages about Colposcopy

A colposcopy is a procedure to look at your cervix. It is used to diagnose and treat changes in your cells.

A colposcopy is used to check for problems with the cervix. It’s often done if cervical screening finds abnormal cells in your cervix.

Avoid having sex and putting tampons, lubricants or medicines in your vagina for 24 hours before having a colposcopy.

During a colposcopy, a microscope is used to look at your cervix. A sample of cells may also be taken for testing. This is called a biopsy.

It’s common to have a brown vaginal discharge and light vaginal bleeding after a colposcopy.

If no abnormal cells are found during a colposcopy, you’ll usually be told right away. If you have a biopsy, the results can take around 4 to 8 weeks.

Page last reviewed: 23/05/2022
Next review due: 23/05/2025