This test is generally done to further investigate abnormal Pap smear and colposcopy results. It is performed as follows:
- The cervix is cleaned (usually with a brown antiseptic called betadine).
- The physician grasps the cervix with a tenaculum (an instrument similar to a forceps).
- 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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