Coloposcopy allows the physician to look at the cervix through a special magnifying device called the colposcope. The exam allows the physician to find problems that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The exam is performed in the physician’s office.
Colposcopy may be performed for the following reasons and may need to be performed more than once:
- Results of cervical screening test show abnormal cells changes on the cervix
- Genital warts on the cervix
- Cervicitis (an inflamed cervix)
- Benign growths, such as polyps
Pre-Procedure, for at least 24 hours before the test, do NOT:
- Use tampons
- Use vaginal medications
- Have sex
- The patient is prepped on the bed similar to a pelvic exam.
- A speculum will be used to hold apart the vaginal walls and allow visualization of the cervix. The scope is placed just outside the vaginal opening.
- A mild solution is applied to cervix and vagina that may cause a slight burning sensation. It makes abnormal areas easier to see.
- If abnormal areas are identified, a biopsy may be done. The biopsy will remove a small piece of tissue from the cervix and cells may also be taken from the canal of the cervix.
Recovery without biopsy performed:
- You should feel fine right away.
- Spotting may occur for a couple of days post procedure.
- You may resume regular activities.
Recovery when biopsy performed:
- You may have pain and/or discomfort for 1 to 2 days. You may use over-the-counter medications.
- You may have some bleeding and dark discharge for a couple of days. You may use a sanitary pad until discharge stops.
- Your activities may be limited for a brief time while the cervix heals. Do not: have sex, use tampons, or douche.
Call the office right away if you experience the following:
- Heavy bleeding, using more than one sanitary pad per hour.
- Severe lower abdominal pain.