Colposcopy: What to Expect at Home

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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 is normal for up to a week after a biopsy. The discharge may be dark-coloured if a solution was put on your cervix. 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?

Activity

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

Exercise

  • Do not exercise for 1 day after the test.

Medicines

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if and when to start taking those medicines again. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • 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

  • Use a pad if you have some bleeding.
  • Do not douche, have sexual intercourse, or use tampons for 1 week if you had a biopsy. This will allow time for your cervix to heal.
  • 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 call line 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 call 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 call line if:

  • You have questions or concerns.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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