We investigated the use of topical ligocaine gel in pain relief for colposcopy and cervical punch biopsy. Ninety women referred for colposcopy due to abnormal cervical cytology were randomised to receive 5 ml of either 2% xylocaine gel or KY jelly to the cervix and the upper part of the vagina for at least 10 minutes prior to the colposcopic procedures. Pain score was obtained at several points of the procedure. Topical lignocaine gel did not significantly relieve pain from cervical punch biopsy and alleviate the stinging sensation from application of acetic acid and Lugol's iodine to cervix and vagina. However, it may be beneficial to a subgroup of women with prior unpleasant experience towards speculum examination.