Getting your colposcopy results
If no abnormal cells were found, then you will usually be told straight away by the doctor or nurse.
You will still need to attend routine cervical screening appointments in the future.
If you had a biopsy you may need to wait 4 to 8 weeks to get your results.
Understanding your biopsy results
Your biopsy may not find any abnormal cells. This is known as a normal result. Depending on your age, you'll be invited for a cervical screening appointment in 3 or 5 years if you get a normal result.
Or your biopsy may find abnormal cervical cells. This is known as an abnormal result. It’s not cancer, but there is a risk the cells could turn into cancer in the future if not treated.
Doctors use the following terms for abnormal cervical cells:
- cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN)
- cervical glandular intra-epithelial neoplasia (CGIN)
|CIN1||Low risk||No immediate treatment is needed. You may be offered a follow-up cervical smear test or colposcopy to check the cells|
|CIN2||Medium risk||You may be offered a follow-up colposcopy to check the cells or treatment to remove cells|
|CIN3||High risk||You will be offered treatment to remove cells|
|CGIN||High risk||You will be offered treatment to remove cells|
In rare cases, a colposcopy and biopsy will find cervical cancer. If this happens, you'll be referred to a team of specialists to discuss treatment.
Support is available
Most of the time a colposcopy will not find anything to worry about.
But it might help to speak to someone if you're feeling worried about your results, or if you are told you have cervical cancer.
You can get in touch with charities such as:
Page last reviewed: 30 December 2019
Next review due: 30 December 2022