Colposcopy


Introduction 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
  • 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.
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.
Indications
  • 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.
Risks Although there is a small risk of infection or heavy bleeding, colposcopy is generally a safe and painless procedure.