How Much Does a Colposcopy Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

A colposcopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to view the cervix through a camera that magnifies the tissue.  By doing this, the doctor will be able to spot abnormal tissue, if there is any, among the normal tissue.   Generally, if there is something found during a woman’s annual PAP exam, the doctor may suggest the colposcopy in order to further analyze the findings.  The main goal of a colposcopy is to prevent cervical cancer by detecting abnormal cells as early as possible.

How much does a colposcopy cost?

For those who do not have health insurance, a colposcopy can cost anywhere from $100 to as much as $750, but this price could be higher if additional lab tests are performed.  This price will depend on whether it is done in a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital.  Your geographical location will also make a difference in the price as will the doctor who performs the procedure.  A hospital, generally, is going to be the most expensive when compared to an outpatient center.

Since this is a medically necessary test, health insurance plans will cover it.  Depending on your insurance, you will only be responsible for co-pays and deductibles.  Those who have insurance have paid anywhere from $0 to $100.  If you do not have a health insurance policy, consider comparing rates on websites such as eHealthInsurance.com.

According to a forum thread on HealthBoards.com, forum members claimed they paid around $150 to $250 for the procedure without insurance.

KayCircle.com claims that the procedure will cost an average of $400.

Colposcopy overview

During the procedure, the doctor will have you lie on the table, just as you would for a pelvic exam.  Inserting a speculum, the doctor will be able to view the cervix, and depending on the scenario, the doctor can remove tissue for a further biopsy test or look closely at areas that look abnormal.  To make it easier to spot the abnormal cells, they will wash your cervix with a vinegar-like solution.  Next, they will use what’s known as a colposcope, an instrument that resembles binoculars.  This instrument won’t touch you and will be designed to take a closer look at the cervix.

The doctor may elect to take photos or video if anything is present.

If the doctor decides to take a tissue sample during the test, a slight pain may be felt.  This can lead to slight bleeding and stomach cramping.

The procedure is very quick and should take less than 15 minutes to perform.

Patients are advised to wait up to 24 to 48 hours for advice and confirmed test results.

What are the extra costs?

Aside from the facility and/or hospital fee, there may be a laboratory processing fee that can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 to analyze the results.

If abnormal tissue or cells are discovered, additional tests will be required.  Depending on the procedure that has to be done, many of them, such as a loop electrosurgical excision procedure, can cost as much as $1,000 or more.  The doctor may also order a biopsy if any irregular tissue that is found.

There may be follow-up exams needed after this test is taken.  These appointments will be used to discuss results and decide if further medical action is necessary.

Tips to know:

If your doctor has ordered a colposcopy for you following a PAP exam, do not worry.  It has been noted that 1 in 20 PAP smears have abnormal results, but most of them turn out to be perfectly fine after the colposcopy.

Over time, you may find that your abnormal results can go away during your next PAP smear.  As always, though, make sure that you get this procedure done just to play it safe if your doctor recommends it.

A colposcopy is a great procedure to have to detect things that cannot often be detected by the naked eye.

WebMD says a colposcopy is safe during a pregnancy, and even if a biopsy is needed, the chance of harming the pregnancy is minimal.  If you do decide to have the procedure done while being pregnant, a doctor will more than likely ask you to come back six to eight weeks after giving birth.

Colposcopy aftercare, according to the Mayo Clinic, won’t be much, especially if you didn’t have a biopsy performed.  Generally, you can resume the same activities once your exam has been completed.  However, if a biopsy were taken, then you may feel slight pain for a few days, light bleeding or a dark discharge.

How can I save money?

Depending on your income, some places, such as Planned Parenthood, can perform the exam at a lower rate than a doctor’s office.  Besides Planned Parenthood, there are also clinics that are funded by the government that can help low-income families.

If you are going to pay cash up front, let the doctor’s office know.  Many of them are more than happy to work some sort of payment plan out for you as well as give you discounts for paying cash in full.

For students attending a university, check with your local health centers.  Most centers can perform this relatively simple procedure for less than $100.


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