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Colposcopy: What to Expect at Home

Your Recovery

You may feel some soreness in your vagina for a day or two if you had a biopsy. Some vaginal bleeding or discharge for about a week after a biopsy is normal. The discharge may be dark-coloured. You may also have some spotting for about 3 weeks. You can use a sanitary pad for the bleeding.

It may take a week or two for you to get the test results.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for yourself at home?


  • You can return to work and most daily activities right after the test.


  • Do not exercise for 1 day after the test.


  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. You will also get instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.

Other instructions

  • Some vaginal bleeding or discharge after a biopsy is normal. The discharge may be dark-coloured. Use a pad if you have some bleeding.
  • If you had a biopsy, do not have vaginal sex or place anything in your vagina for 1 week or until your doctor tells you it is okay. Do not douche.
  • You can take a bath or shower anytime after the test.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding. This means that you are soaking through your usual pads every hour for 2 or more hours.
  • You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain.
    • Bad-smelling vaginal discharge.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You have questions or concerns.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.