Effects of Orally Administered Preliminary Analgesic Therapy in Diagnostic Colposcopy Patients: A Prospective Questionnaire Study

Georgios Michail1, *, Georgios Androutsopoulos1, Panagiotis Panas1, Georgios Valasoulis2, Ifigenia Papadimitriou1, Konstantinos Poulas3, Georgios Adonakis1
1 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University Hospital of Patras, Rion, Greece
2 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University Hospital of Larisa, Larisa, Greece
3 Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Rion, Greece

© 2021 Michail et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Correspondence: Address correspondence to this author at Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University Hospital of Patras, Rion, Greece; E-mail:



Colposcopy has a key role in the diagnostic work-up and management of abnormal cervical cytology, but it might generate negative feelings of mainly anxiety and pain to the patients undergoing such examination. These feelings are interrelated, with the anxiety fueling the painful sensations. The aim of our study was to investigate the effects of preliminary administration in terms of pain and anxiety relief that the preliminary administration of paracetamol would have on patients undergoing diagnostic colposcopy.

Materials & Methods:

We conducted a single center prospective study which enrolled 112 patients with diagnosed or suspected cervical pathology who were examined at the Outpatient Colposcopy Clinic of Patras University Hospital, over a 7-months period. Patients were randomly assigned to one of the two groups. The interventional group received 1gr of paracetamol (acematiminofen) in pill form, 30 to 60 minutes before colposcopic assessment; the control group received no medication. At the end of consultation, all participants completed a 2-page questionnaire.


More patients of the interventional arm did not experience any pain at all during colposcopy compared with the control group. However, this difference was statistically not significant, probably because of the small number of patients. Moreover, there were no differences in mild and moderate pain rates between the interventional and control groups. Severe pain was only experienced by patients in the control group. Further data analysis from the first time as and for repeat colposcopy patients showed similar findings regarding pain intensity rates in the interventional and control group. When considering anxiety levels, no differences were observed between the two groups.


The preliminary administration of low dose paracetamol in a pilot sample of colposcopy patients did not illustrate significant benefits in terms of experienced pain and anxiety levels.

Keywords: Paracetamol, Analgesic therapy, Diagnostic colposcopy, Pain, Cytology, Anxiety.