Following a colposcopy, a woman may experience vaginal spotting or light bleeding for several days. If she did not have a biopsy during the procedure, there are no further restrictions on her activity, according to Mayo Clinic. If the doctor did perform a biopsy, the woman may experience a dark-colored discharge and pain in the vagina or vulva for several days. After a colposcopy with biopsy, the woman should refrain from vaginal intercourse, douching and tampon use for a week.
During a colposcopy, the doctor inserts a speculum to hold the vagina open and looks at the cervix through a magnifying instrument called a colposcope, explains Mayo Clinic. He uses a cotton swab to clear away mucus from the vagina and cervix, and may apply a solution to help him visualize any abnormal cells. If he detects abnormal cells, he takes a tissue sample, or biopsy, for lab testing. Afterwards he may apply a chemical solution to stop any bleeding.
A colposcopy is a safe procedure, but a biopsy does have rare complications including infection, pelvic pain and heavy bleeding. Symptoms indicative of these complications are vaginal bleeding that is heavier than typical menstruation, fever, chills or severe abdominal pain. The patient should contact her doctor if any of these symptoms are present, advises Mayo Clinic.