What Are The Side Effects of Cervical Biopsy?

By Ashley | December 18, 2009

Cervical biopsy involves the collection of a sample of tissue from the cervix for pathological examination and detection of cancer. The amount of cervical tissue collected for this purpose depends on the way in which the sample is obtained. In a simple biopsy, only a tiny amount of tissue is extracted from the surface of the cervix. In an endocervical biopsy, a curette is introduced into the vagina to scrape off a sample of tissue from the high end of the cervix. A more complicated version of this biopsy is called conization, in which a cone shaped wedge is made on the cervix to obtain a sample of tissue that may contain both healthy and cancerous cells. In case your test reports are normal, you would not be recommended any additional tests. However, if the test indicates infection through sexually transmitted diseases or abnormal cell growth, further tests and medications may be prescribed.

Generally, a local anesthetic or an oral pain- killing pill is given to the patient before the biopsy sample is collected. A mild acetic acid solution may also be applied on the cervix before the biopsy in order to reveal the particular areas where there is an abnormal growth of cells. After the biopsy, a liquid called the Monsel’s solution is applied topically in order to stop bleeding. Though the patient is usually discharged an hour after the completion of the procedure and allowed to resume normal day-to-day activities after 24 hours, there are a few side effects that may affect some women.

A few women experience minor cramping soon after the biopsy. In some cases, the patient experiences a small amount of vaginal discharge that is dark brown in color for about a week or two following the biopsy. Using tampons may also be a bit uncomfortable for about a week, and during this period the use of sanitary pads is advisable. You should not try douching for at least a week and abstain from sexual intercourse for a few days. You should consult your doctor regarding the exact duration for which you need to practice these precautionary measures to deal with these side effects. However, if you experience symptoms like unusually heavy bleeding, foul smelling or yellowish discharge from the vagina, pain in the lower pelvic area, and rise in body temperature then chances are that you might have contracted an infection, in which case you should consult your doctor immediately.