What is a colposcopy?
A large microscope called a colposcope to look at the vagina and cervix and possibly take a sample of tissue.
When is it used?
This test may be done after you have had an abnormal Pap smear. Colposcopy is a test used for diagnosing precancerous or cancerous changes in the cervix or vaginal cells. The results of this test will help your physician to make a plan for adequate treatment.
How do I prepare for a colposcopy?
No particular preparation is necessary.
What happens during the procedure?
You will be positioned on the examining table just as for a regular pelvic exam. The physician will use a colposcope at the vaginal opening to look inside the vagina or look at the cervix.
If your doctor sees any abnormalities, he or she may take a small tissue sample. You may feel a pinch or slight cramp. The tissue will be sent to the lab for testing.
What happens after the procedure?
You could have some mild cramping and or bleeding or dark discharge for up to two weeks after the procedure. The test results should be ready in a about two weeks.
Ask your doctor what recommendations they have and when you should come back for a checkup.
What are the benefits of this procedure?
To make a plan for future treatment.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
Minor bleeding. Other risks include:
- Heavy bleeding (more than one pad per hour or more bleeding than your menstrual flow)
You should ask your physician how these risks apply to you.
When should I call my doctor?
Call the doctor immediately if you have these problems after the procedure:
- Heavy bleeding
- Fever greater than 100.4 degrees
- Pelvic pain