Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Cervical Biopsy

This test is generally done to further investigate abnormal Pap smear and colposcopy results. It is performed as follows:

  1. The cervix is cleaned (usually with a brown antiseptic called betadine).
  2. The physician grasps the cervix with a tenaculum (an instrument similar to a forceps).
  3. A small portion of the cervix is removed for evaluation.

A cervical biopsy is normally performed in the gynecologist’s office without anesthesia, as the cervix is insensitive to this type of pain. The woman may feel some cramping as the uterus is moved around. This examination always causes bleeding, both from the pinching of the tenaculum and from the removal of cervical tissue.

A cervical biopsy does not render a woman niddah, even on days when it is generally best to avoid scheduling gynecological examinations, as the bleeding is clearly of traumatic origin and the uterus is not opened. It is, however, still preferable not to schedule this procedure during the shivah neki’im (seven clean days) because residual bleeding makes it difficult to complete the required bedikot. If the test must be done then, she should consult a rabbi or yoetzet to clarify how to proceed.

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All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

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