I'd say a colonoscopy unsedated in a remission would be bearable. A colonoscopy unsedated when flaring any more then very, very slightly would be just plain crazy.
I've had a number of flexible-sigmoidoscopies and the level of discomfort depends on whether you're in a remission or flare, and how badly you are flaring. In a remission, it was no big deal at with just a bit of pressure felt from the scope and the air injected and easy as can be. When flaring very badly, it just plain hurt badly, enough that I had a subconscious-reflex-response where I began reaching back to the source of the pain, and fortunately the nurse stopped my movement fast as soon as it started. Various levels of inflammation were between those two extremes, from a slight to mild discomfort (and me being glad it was just a 5-minute procedure). The saline, fleet prep is the best indicator on how bad the scope would be, if the salt-prep hurt then I was going to have a bad time, if the salt-prep had no sensation then it was going to be a good time.
Given a flex-sig is 1/2 as far and a much, much shorter procedure. I think a colonoscopy is 20-30 minutes, a bit more difficult to do with the additional turns and length.
Moderator Ulcerative Colitis
John, 40, UC Proctosigmoiditis
Rx: Remicade @5mgs/kg/6wks; daily 75mgs 6MP, 4.8g generic-Lialda, and rowasa
With UC, we're much like a footballer on our way to the bathroom: running, jumping over and agilely dodging around obstacles, and knocking out-of-the-way all that are in our path to the end-zone.