After a colposcopy, your doctor or nurse will often be able to tell you what they've found straight away.
If they take a biopsy (remove a small sample of tissue to be examined in a laboratory), you may need to wait up to four to eight weeks to receive your result by post.
See below for information about what the different results mean.
About 4 in every 10 women who have a colposcopy have a normal result.
This meansno abnormal cells were found inyour cervix during the colposcopy and/or biopsy and you don't need any immediate treatment.
You'll be advised to continue with cervical screening as usual, in case abnormal cells develop later on.
Depending on your age, you'll be invited for a cervical screening appointment inthree or fiveyears.
About 6 in every 10 women have abnormal cells in their cervix known as cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) or cervical glandular intra-epithelial neoplasia (CGIN).
This isn'tcancer, but there's a risk it could turninto cancer if untreated.
Abnormal cells may be detected while a colposcopy is carried out, but a biopsy will be needed to determine what the risk of these becoming cancerous is and whether treatment is needed.
The different types of abnormal biopsy result and whatthey mean are as follows:
If this happens, you'll be referred to a team of specialists to discuss treatment.
Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust has more information about biopsy results .
Find out what a colposcopy is, why it's carried out, what happens and what the results mean.
Find out what happens before, during and after a colposcopy, and what the risks and side effects are.
Find out when you can expect to receive the results of a colposcopy and what the different results mean.