Will you be awake during the procedure of a colonoscopy or will you be asleep and unconscious during it? Learn more about colonoscopy in this article.

Getting a medical examination conducted, even by a doctor, may at times be very uncomfortable for people, especially when medical equipment needs to be inserted into parts of your body. While some people get uncomfortable because of the instruments used during the examination, many others get uncomfortable from the thought of another person looking into parts of your body, in particular private ones. One such medical examination that people often need to go through, and find discomforting, is that of a colonoscopy. If you are someone about to go through a colonoscopy and are wondering whether you will be awake during it, read this article to learn about the procedure before you go through it.

What is a colonoscopy?

  • It is a medical examination of the large intestine and the rectum.
  • It is used to explore and investigate symptoms and intestinal signs, screen colon or rectal cancer, and look for polyps or tissues that may be causing problems in a patient.
  • It is also used to retrieve small tissues for sampling
  • It is conducted using a thin flexible tube, which is inserted into your body through your rectum. This tube is long and has a camera at the tip of that end of the tube which is inserted into your rectum. This camera allows the doctor to get a clear view of your colon and rectum and diagnose your problem.
  • It can take 30-60 minutes excluding the time needed for the patient’s preparation and recovery.

However, this procedure does not pose too many risks and rarely has complications.

Learn more about colonoscopies here

Are you awake during a colonoscopy?

Since this is a procedure that involves inserting a tube into your body, the two thoughts that cross someone’s mind are, “will it hurt?” and “do I have to be awake during the colonoscopy and feel the entire process or will I be asleep?”

Prior to the colonoscopy people are given sedatives. This helps induce sleep and calms your body. Doctors usually give you a mild sedative or at times even give you sedatives combined with medication intravenous pain medication to reduce any discomfort.

will i be asleep during a colonoscopy

Taking a sedative means you will be sleeping but it would be considered as light sleep. However, you will not be unconscious. The lighter the sedation the more you are likely to feel discomfort.

The level of sedation that you receive will be determined by your doctor. Nonetheless, you will have a say in the decision and you can choose to get no sedation at all, or a lighter or deeper one. You must know that your medical history and existing conditions and age is the basis on which the doctor determines the nature of the sedation.

The level of pain and discomfort you feel is also determined by the nature of sedation you are given, hence if you are someone who is very sensitive to pain or discomfort, let your doctor know that so she/he can make a well-informed decision.


Thus, as we have read, there are different sedatives that people are given during a colonoscopy and that is what determines whether you will be awake during a colonoscopy.


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