How you prepare

To prepare for your colposcopy, your doctor may recommend that you:

  • Avoid scheduling your colposcopy during your period
  • Don't have vaginal intercourse the day or two before your colposcopy
  • Don't use tampons the day or two before your colposcopy
  • Don't use vaginal medications for the two days before your colposcopy
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), before going to your colposcopy appointment

Coping with anxiety before your colposcopy

Many women experience anxiety as they wait for their colposcopy exams. Anxiety can make you feel generally uncomfortable. You may find it hard to concentrate, and you may have difficulty sleeping.

Women who are very anxious about their colposcopy may experience more pain during the procedure than those who find ways to control and manage their anxiety. Women with high anxiety levels are also more likely to skip their colposcopy appointments.

  • Ask your doctor for brochures or pamphlets about colposcopy and what you can expect.
  • Write down any questions or concerns you have about the procedure, and ask your doctor to review them with you before your colposcopy begins.
  • Find activities that help you relax, such as exercise, meditation, and being with friends and family.
  • Consider bringing a portable music device, such as an MP3 player, to your colposcopy appointment. Ask your doctor if it's OK if you listen to music quietly during the exam. Women may experience less pain and anxiety if they listen to music during colposcopy.
June 02, 2017
References
  1. Colposcopy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq135.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20140106T1656517997. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.
  2. Feltmate CM, et al. Colposcopy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.
  3. Lobo RA, et al. Intraepithelial neoplasia of the lower genital tract (cervix, vagina, vulva): Etiology, screening, diagnosis, management. In: Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.
  4. Allen RH, et al. Pain relief for obstetric and gynecologic ambulatory procedures. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. 2013;40:625.
  5. Pfenninger JL, et al. Colposcopic examination. In: Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.
  6. Bosgraaf RP, et al. Qualitative insights into the psychological stress before and during colposcopy: A focus group study. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2013:34:150.