Colposcopy is used to closely examine the cervix, vagina or vulva. An instrument with a magnifying lens and a light, called a colposcope magnifies the image many times so the healthcare provider examines and sees the tissues more clearly.

At the beginning of your colposcopy, you will lie on your back on the gynecology table. The instruments used for the exam are inserted into your vagina so that your cervix can be easily seen. After removing cervical and vaginal discharges with saline, a special solution is applied to the cervix to show where a biopsy will be taken if needed. The sample is examined by a specialist (pathologist).

This procedure usually takes 20-30 minutes.

Why might I need a colposcopy?

It is performed in order to thoroughly examine the cervix for the purpose of evaluating any abnormal cellular changes found in the smear and, if necessary, taking a biopsy to diagnose the tissue.

Why is the importance of colposcopy?

Thanks to colposcopy, it is possible to diagnose cervical cancer at an early stage.

Is colposcopy painful?

If your doctor takes a biopsy sample, you may feel mild cramps and pain while the tissue is removed. During this procedure, you should try to relax as much as possible and breathe slowly and deeply. Some patients may need mild sedation, called procedural sedation analgesia.

How do I get ready for a colposcopy?

Emptying your bladder and bowels before your procedure will make it more comfortable. Do not use vaginal douches or tampons and do not have sex 24 hours before your appointment.

Will this procedure affect my ability to have children?

If your doctor takes a tissue sample, it's a very small amount and won't cause any problems with your fertility. However, you should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. This information will change the way your doctor treats you.

Does Bleeding Occur After Colposcopy?

You may have dark vaginal discharge after colposcopy and it may continue for several weeks.

Can I use tampons after the procedure?

No. Do not use a tampon or put anything in the vagina after the procedure until your doctor tells you to do so. Do not have sexual intercourse.

When should I call my doctor?

If you experience any of the following problems after colposcopy, call your doctor immediately:

  • Excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fever, chills or foul-smelling vaginal discharge