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Colposcopy

If you have recently had an abnormal Pap test result, your health care provider may recommend a follow-up colposcopy procedure.

What is colposcopy?

Colposcopy is a procedure used to examine your cervix and vagina. A specialist will use a special microscope called a colposcope to look for abnormalities. During the colposcopy, the specialist may take tissue (biopsy) from any areas that appear abnormal.

What happens during the colposcopy?

  1. The exam starts off much like a Pap test: a specialist will use an instrument called a speculum to gently spread the vaginal walls to get a better look at the cervix.
  2. Vinegar or iodine may be applied to the cervix to make any abnormalities more visible.
  3. The specialist will then take tissue (biopsy) from the cervix for additional testing. The procedure is done in 5-10 minutes.

What happens after the colposcopy?

There may be some spotting if a biopsy was taken which should stop within 24-48 hours. If a tampon is used to protect from spotting, ensure it is removed three hours after insertion. If you experience further spotting another tampon can be inserted or a pad may be used.


Watch this video to see what happens during a colposcopy procedure:

 


Colposcopy Results

Your colposcopy results will be available within 2-4 weeks and a doctor will review them with you as well as discuss any next steps. Please call your doctor if you do not hear from them after four weeks.

 
Minor cell changes like CIN1 often correct themselves. Treatment for CIN1 is typically not needed. Your doctor will explain your colposcopy results and will advise you on any next steps.
 
Your doctor will discuss the recommendation for a Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP), which can be performed in the colposcopy clinic. If not treated, over time, CIN2 and CIN3 may become cancerous.


Your Questions

An abnormal cervical cancer screening (Pap test) result means that cells have been found on your cervix that do not look normal. Abnormal results are common and do not mean that you have cancer or precancerous cells. Follow-up is recommended to determine the type of cell changes.
 
The colposcopy itself should not be painful, but it may be uncomfortable. If a biopsy is taken during the procedure, you may experience pinching or cramping sensations.


The risk of complications from colposcopy are small, however a biopsy can cause an infection or bleeding in rare instances.


SOURCE: Colposcopy ( )
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