Colposcopy Q & A
What is a colposcopy?
A colposcopy is an advanced type of exam to view your cervix up close using a colposcope, a powerful magnifying tool. The colposcope magnifies the view of the cervix far beyond what’s normally visible, which allows for more accurate analysis and diagnosis of gynecologic issues and problems.
When might I need a colposcopy?
The Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology team typically recommends a colposcopy if your Pap smear shows abnormal cellular changes that could lead to cervical cancer. But, not all abnormal Pap smears require colposcopy.
Some other reasons for colposcopy may include:
- Inflamed cervix
- Benign growths, like polyps
- Genital warts on the cervix
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
In some cases, a colposcopy is more of a treatment assessment tool rather than a diagnostic tool. For example, if you have a treatment to remove abnormal cervical cells, you may need a follow-up colposcopy to make sure the treatment was effective.
How does a colposcopy work?
The team helps you to schedule your colposcopy when you’re not on your period. That is important because bleeding can interfere with visibility during the exam.
You usually have a colposcopy in the Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology office. You lie in the same position as in a regular pelvic exam. A speculum, a tool that dilates your vaginal walls, gradually expands your vagina, so the cervix is viewable.
A special solution, swabbed onto the cervix, highlights abnormal cells to increase viewability. A colposcopy may include a biopsy. That involves removing a tiny sample of tissue for testing.
You might experience mild discomfort in a cervical biopsy. A vaginal biopsy can be more uncomfortable, so you may receive a local anesthetic if needed.
What is recovery like after a colposcopy?
You can generally resume regular activities immediately. If you have a biopsy during your colposcopy, you may experience some bleeding and a dark discharge for a day or two.
The Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology team studies the information gathered in your colposcopy, including biopsy results after lab analysis. Once they reach a conclusion, the team can schedule an appointment in which you can learn about results and treatments, if needed.
Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology offers comprehensive women’s health care in a welcoming environment. To schedule your appointment, call the office or request an appointment online.