Colposcopy in Evaluating Bleeding during the Second and Third Trimesters: Short-Term and Postpartum Implications

Maya Frank Wolf, Reut Elon, Dunia Hassan, Doron Zarfati, Benjamin Diker, Oleg Shnaider, Jacob Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The etiology of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy may be obstetric or non-obstetric. Though colposcopy is generally not part of the routine evaluation of 2nd- or 3rd-trimester vaginal bleeding without obvious obstetrical cause, our department does perform colposcopy and cervical cytology testing in these patients. This study assessed the need and possible contribution of colposcopy in diagnosing the etiology of 2nd- and 3rd-trimester bleeding. Methods: Retrospective analysis of colposcopy findings from 2012-2015 in patients with 2nd- or 3rd-trimester bleeding where an obstetrical cause was not found. Data collected included demographics, obstetric data, bleeding characteristics, colposcopy results, cervical cytology testing, a sonogram directed at the placenta, and birth details. Results: Of the 168 patients who underwent colposcopy, 29 (17.3%) complained of postcoital bleeding (PCB). The following were the colposcopy results: 5 (3%) had abnormal colposcopy findings, 14 (8.3%) ectropion, 4 (2.4%) polyps, and 1 (0.6%) vaginal varices. Postpartum follow-up of women with PCB or pathologic cervical cytology testing diagnosed 1(0.6%) patient with high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2-3, human papillomavirus 18 and 45 positive. Conclusions: Colposcopy diagnosed the origin of bleeding in 24 cases (13.7%). These findings support the use of colposcopy in evaluating vaginal bleeding of undetermined obstetric origin during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-117
Number of pages11
JournalGynecologic and Obstetric Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.


  • Bleeding origin
  • Cervical pathology
  • Colposcopy
  • Late-term bleeding


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