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Can a colposcopy exam be done if a woman is on her period?

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Updated May 08, 2008

Question: Can a colposcopy exam be done if a woman is on her period?
My doctor scheduled me for a colposcopy exam in three weeks but I now realize that I will probably be on my period at that time. Should I reschedule or can the doctor do a colposcopy while I am on my period?
Answer: It is not recommended to have a colposcopy exam during menstruation. The purpose of the colposcopy exam is to allow the doctor to view cervical tissue more closely. Menstrual fluid can interfere with the doctor's ability to get a clear view the cervix.

I would suggest to call the doctor's office where you will be having the exam and tell them that you will most likely be menstruating during the exam. This way they can reschedule your appointment for a day when you aren't menstruating.

There are other things you can do to prepare for your colposcopy exam as well. No sex, douching, tampon use, or vaginal medications 24 hours prior to the exam. General rule of thumb is to have nothing in the vagina 24 hours prior to your colposcopy.

Read More About Colposcopy Exams:

Sources:

"Special Procedures: Colposcopy." American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 21 April 2008.
http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp135.cfm

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