A colposcopy is a simple, in-office procedure that provides a thorough examination of your cervix. The board-certified OB/GYNs at KEM Health Obstetrics & Gynecology in Atlanta, Georgia, may recommend colposcopy if you have an abnormal Pap smear result or evidence of reproductive disease. Call the office or book an appointment online today to determine how colposcopy may fit into your gynecological evaluation.

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What is a colposcopy?

A colposcopy provides further investigation of your cervix, which is the lowest part of your uterus, just at the top of the vagina. A colposcopy can also give the doctors a better view of the vulva and vagina.

The procedure uses a specialized instrument, called a colposcope, to see any suspicious tissue.

When would I need a colposcopy?

The doctors at KEM Health Obstetrics & Gynecology would recommend a colposcopy if you have abnormal Pap smear results.

Abnormal results aren’t a cancer diagnosis but may indicate that you have irregular cells that could turn into cervical cancer if not treated.

Other reasons for a colposcopy include:

  • Inflammation around your cervix
  • Diagnosis of genital warts
  • Precancerous changes in the tissue of the vagina, cervix, or vulva

If your doctor observes suspicious cells during the colposcopy, they may conduct a biopsy of the tissue. A biopsy involves taking a small sample and sending it off to a lab for further analysis.

What should I expect during a colposcopy?

Your colposcopy takes place in the comfortable office of KEM Health Obstetrics & Gynecology.

During the procedure, you lay on an exam table just like you do for a pelvic exam. The doctor places a speculum in your vagina to hold open the walls, swab away any mucus, and apply a vinegar solution to the area to highlight irregular cells.

The colposcope, or magnifying instrument, is placed just a few inches away from your vulva. The doctor also shines a bright light into the area for better analysis of your cells. The colposcope gives the doctors an up-close view of your reproductive area so they can identify any irregular tissue.

The entire colposcopy takes 10-20 minutes and isn’t painful; you may feel just a little pressure during the examination and tingling due to the vinegar solution application.

Will I need to schedule downtime following a colposcopy?

A routine colposcopy with no biopsy doesn’t require downtime. You can resume all your normal activities following the procedure. You will need to avoid using a tampon or having intercourse for about one week.

Don’t be surprised if you have light bleeding or spotting in the immediate days following your procedure. If any bleeding is concerning, contact the office right away.

If you underwent a biopsy, you might need to restrict some activity for just a day or two. Your provider at KEM Health Obstetrics & Gynecology will give you after-care instructions.

If you need to schedule a colposcopy, call KEM Health Obstetrics & Gynecology or book an appointment online today.