Colposcopy is an examination of a woman’s vagina and cervix using a colposcope – a tubular instrument with a light source and lenses that magnify up to 25 times. Using a colposcope, a doctor can examine the cervix and vagina closely for cancer and for abnormal areas that might soon become cancer. Colposcopy takes about 15 minutes and requires no anesthesia.
Preparation before Colposcopy
- Need to remove your clothing from the waist down.
- After a biopsy, if there is vaginal bleeding, then a sanitary napkin can be worn after the procedure.
- After you have been asked to remove your clothing from the waist down, you will be given a cloth drape to cover your lower torso.
- You will lie on your back on an examination table with your legs spread, your knees bent, and your heels placed in two “Stirrups.”
- Your doctor will insert a lubricated instrument called a speculum into your vagina to hold the vaginal walls open for colposcopy.
- In some cases the cervix and vagina may be rinsed with a solution or stain to make abnormal areas more obvious.
- Next, your doctor will insert the colposcope and examine your cervix and vagina.
- If necessary, he or she will do a biopsy of any suspicious area.
- Although your doctor may use a local anesthetic to numb the biopsy area, the biopsy procedure may trigger some brief mild cramping or a little discomfort.
- Cervical cancer.
- Used as a follow–up procedure to give a magnified view of an abnormal area seen during an earlier gynecological examination.
- During colposcopy, a biopsy of the cervix can be taken.
Although there is a small risk of infection or heavy bleeding, colposcopy is generally a safe and painless procedure.