Understanding Cervical Biopsy

Female pelvis showing reproductive structures.

A cervical biopsy removes a small piece of tissue from your cervix. This tissue is sent to a lab to check for any problems with your cervix, such as precancerous conditions or cancer. The cervix is the narrowest part of your womb (uterus). It links the uterus to the vagina.

Why cervical biopsy is done

This procedure may be done if you have an abnormal Pap test or pelvic exam. It helps find cancer.

How cervical biopsy is done

This procedure is often done on an outpatient basis. That means you can go home afterward. During the procedure:

  • Your healthcare provider puts a speculum into your vagina. It helps him or her see your cervix better.

  • He or she uses a colposcope to look at your cervix. This tool magnifies the cervix.

  • He or she dabs some acetic acid onto your cervix. This solution helps to find any areas of concern.

  • You may be given medicine so you don’t feel pain. The medicine is injected into your cervix.

  • Your healthcare provider places forceps on the abnormal area of your cervix.

  • He or she closes shut the jaws of the forceps. This cuts off a piece of tissue.

  • He or she may put a brown paste on the area to stop any bleeding. You may need a stitch if the bleeding doesn’t stop.

  • The tissue is sent to a lab to check for cancer.

Risks of cervical biopsy

These include:

  • Bleeding

  • Infection