Cervical punch biopsies are a common ambulatory procedure, performed routinely by gynaecologists. The aim of the present study was to assess the efficacy of forced coughing as a pain‐reducing technique during cervical punch biopsy compared to a control group.
Materials and Methods
The study was a prospective randomised‐control trial. The study group comprised 90 women who underwent cervical punch biopsies during investigation of abnormal Pap test results. The women were randomly assigned to ‘cough’ and control groups. Pain was measured on a 10 cm visual analogue scale (VAS) during different stages of the procedure.
VAS pain score during biopsies was significantly lower in the ‘cough’ group. The median pain level in the ‘cough’ group was 1.5, compared to 4.0 in the control group. Eighty percent of the women in the ‘cough’ group reported a pain level of 2.0 or less compared to 40% of the women in the ‘control’ group (P = 0.0002). In the second biopsy, 69% of the women reported VAS ≤ 2.0 in the cough group compared to 28% of the patients in the control group. Forced coughing was shown both to reduce anxiety regarding the prospect of future cervical procedures and to decrease patients’ desires for future pain management. This was true for 32% of the women in the ‘control’ group compared to 12% of the women in the ‘cough’ group (P = 0.05).
Forced coughing provides significant pain relief during cervical punch biopsy and reduces the patients’ fears and desires for pain medications in future procedures.