Here’s reassuring information about your discharge after a colposcopy and cervical biopsy.

Just how common is the discharge?

“Experiencing discharge after colposcopy and cervical biopsy is common,” says Justin Chura, MD, medical director of gynecological oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Causes of the Discharge

“Sometimes the discharge can be due to medications applied to the cervix to stop any bleeding after the biopsy,” says Dr. Chura.

“A common medication will often cause a discharge that looks like coffee grounds when it mixes with blood.

“Discharge can also be part of the healing process from the biopsies.  As long as the discharge does not have a significant odor and there are no associated fevers or other significant pain, this usually stops within two weeks after biopsy.”

What is a colposcopy?

The purpose of a colposcopy, which takes five to 10 minutes, is to closely examine the cervix, vagina and vulva for any signs of disease.

The instrument that’s used is a colposcope, which is a lighted, magnifying device.

Why would a doctor would recommend a colposcopy?

One reason is an abnormal Pap smear result. Another reason is unexplained vaginal bleeding.

During a colposcopy, tissue is removed that can be sent to the lab for a biopsy.

A colposcopy can show the following:

  • Precancerous changes in cervical tissue
  • Precancerous changes in vaginal tissue
  • Precancerous changes vulvar tissue

Complications of the procedure that are worrisome do not include the commonly observed discharge.

Call your physician if you experience any of the following:

  • Bleeding heavier than what you typically experience during menstruation
  • Chills or fever
  • Severe abdominal pain

Are you terrified of your upcoming colposcopy?

To ease your anxiety, think of a colposcopy for what it actually is: a closer way for a doctor to examine your cervix, vagina and vulva, and a more effective way to collect tissue. A recommendation for the procedure itself DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE CANCER.

Dr. Chura says, “Cancer treatment can be difficult, but we can provide options to alleviate symptoms and get patients through surgery and chemotherapy using a comprehensive care model.”
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock/Stuart Jenner