Colposcopy is a way for your doctor to look closely for abnormal cells that may require a biopsy for more lab testing.
When is colposcopy recommended?
Your GYN may recommend a colposcopy if your Pap test has abnormal results. If the colposcopy reveals abnormal cells, they can be biopsied for a diagnosis.
What issues can colposcopy be used to diagnose?
- Cervical cancer
- Genital warts
- Inflammation of the cervix
- Changes in the cervix, vagina or vulva that could be precancerous
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
What happens during a colposcopy?
Colpsocopy can often be done in your GYN’s office and usually takes less than 20 minutes to perform. You GYN will position the colposcope, a lighted magnifying instrument, to view your cervix through a speculum inserted into your vagina. The area is swabbed to remove any mucus; another solution is then applied to the cervix highlight areas with suspicious cells.
If anything is found that needs further testing, a tissue sample or samples may be taken with a biopsy instrument. You may feel a little pain or pressure.
What happens after a colposcopy?
You may have some spotting or light bleeding after the colposcopy but it should clear up within a few days. If you’ve had a biopsy, avoid tampons, douching and vaginal intercourse for a week after the biopsy.
The results of your colposcopy will determine your next treatment steps.