How you prepareBy Mayo Clinic staff
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.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, 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.
Accept that you'll feel some anxiety as you wait for your appointment, and find ways to cope. For instance:
- 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.
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- Gagne HM. Colposcopy of the vagina and vulva. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. 2008;35:659.
- Noller KL. Intraepithelial neoplasia of the lower genital tract (cervix, vulva): Etiology, screening diagnostic techniques, management. In: Katz VL, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1524/0.html. Accessed March 11, 2011.
- Galaal K, et al. Interventions for reducing anxiety in women undergoing colposcopy (review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2007:CD006013. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews. Accessed March 11, 2011.