During the colposcopy, a small sample of tissue (a biopsy) may be taken from any abnormal looking areas of the cervix. The sample will be sent to a laboratory for testing. It will take up to two weeks for the result to come back to the doctor.

Arrangements should be made for you to discuss the results when they are available and to find out if treatment is required.

If a biopsy is taken, you may have some extra discomfort for a short time. You should avoid rigorous physical exercise for 24 hours after a biopsy. It is best not to have sexual intercourse for one to two days.

You should also avoid swimming, bathing and spas for one to two days but showers are OK. These precautions are to reduce the risk of bleeding or infection. You may have some ‘spotting' for a few hours afterwards, so it is a good idea to take a sanitary pad to the consultation.

Cancer Council Helpline