Understanding Your Colposcopy
We take pap smears every day at Women’s Health Medical Group. This standard test of any gynecological exam is used as a screening tool for cervical cancer. Sometimes these tests return abnormal results. While this usually signals changes in the growth of cervical cells, they are still usually benign. But they can be a signal of future problems that can lead to cancer. For that reason, we may ask to perform a colposcopy.
What is a colposcopy?
A colposcopy is another type of cervical test that allows your Women’s Health Medical Group doctor to get a close-up look at your cervix. The procedure is performed using a special lighted microscope called a colposcope. Usually, a sample of cervical cells is taken during the procedure for further study in the lab.
Why do we conduct a colposcopy?
A colposcopy usually is ordered as a follow-up to help determine the cause of your abnormal pap test. These abnormal tests are often due to a human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. HPV is a large family of viruses. It can cause genital warts and changes in cervical cells. A colposcopy is used to assess other problems such as bleeding during sexual intercourse, pain, or a lesion on the vulva or vagina.
How is a colposcopy conducted?
To perform a colposcopy, you will lie on an exam table with your knees bent, just as you do during a pap test. A speculum is inserted into the vagina to hold it open. Then your doctor will apply a vinegar solution to the cervix to make the cells easier to see. This can give you a feeling of pressure or slight burning, but only for a few moments. Next, the cervix is viewed with the colposcope, which is situated outside the vagina. The colposcope doesn’t touch you. If abnormal cells are seen, a biopsy will be done.
At Women’s Health Medical Group, we provide comprehensive women’s care services. A colposcopy is one of those services. Call us at (817) 346-5336 to schedule your regular checkups, or if you have any questions or concerns.