After-effects reported by women following Colposcopy, cervical biopsies and LLETZ: results from the TOMBOLA trial.
The TOMBOLA (Trial of Management of Borderline and Other Low-grade Abnormal Smears) Group.
British Journal Of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (2009) 116: 1506-1514.

Women resident in Grampian, Tayside and Nottingham ; aged between 20 and 59years, who had had Colposcopy for low-grade cervical smear abnormalities were surveyed using two self-completed questionnaires. The survey tools were informed by extensive review of the relevant literature as well as clinical opinion.

The response rate was satisfactory (80%). The majority of respondents (38%) were aged between 20 and 29 years. It was striking to note that among the women who had Colposcopy only: about 5% complained of moderate pain, and the same proportion complained of vaginal discharge. Half the number of women who had LLETZ had moderate to severe vaginal bleeding thereafter.

The authors did a good job by identifying the limitations of the study, and state that Colposcopy, punch biopsies (of the cervix) and LLETZ ‘are not trivial interventions.

The data from this study say it all.