Your biopsy results
In some circumstances, you might need to have a biopsy sample as part of the colposcopy. This is a small sample of tissue taken from your cervix to check at a laboratory.
Getting your results
Your biopsy sample is sent to a laboratory to confirm the findings of the colposcopy.
It takes about a month for your lab results to come back. The clinic should get in touch with you, but phone them if you haven’t heard anything after a month.
Your results will also be sent to your doctor or smear taker. A copy is held on your behalf in the National Cervical Screening Programme Register as part of your smear history.
Results that may need treatment
Most abnormal results won't be cancer but some need to be followed up to make sure they go away, and some need to be treated. Abnormal results that may need to be treated are:
- mild (low-grade) changes (CIN1)
- moderate (CIN2) to severe changes (CIN3)
- glandular cell changes or adenocarcinoma-in-situ (AIS).
In a few women, abnormal cells could develop into cervical cancer if they are not treated so make sure you attend your colposcopy appointment.
If your results confirm the presence of abnormal cells, treatment options will be discussed with you.
Remember: early treatment is highly successful.