Gynecology and obstetrics specialists in Atlanta can help patients that need a colposcopy. What is colposcopy? Colposcopy is a procedure to closely examine a patient’s cervix, vagina, and vulva for signs of disease. During colposcopy, the doctor uses a special instrument called a colposcope.
The doctor may recommend colposcopy if the patient’s Pap test result is abnormal. If your doctor finds an unusual area of cells during your colposcopy procedure, a sample of tissue can be collected for laboratory testing (biopsy) the patient may experience anxiety before your colposcopy exam. Knowing what to expect during your colposcopy may help you feel more comfortable.
Why is colposcopy done?
Gynecology and obstetrics specialists may recommend colposcopy if a Pap test or pelvic exam revealed abnormalities. Your doctor may
Colposcopy can be used to diagnose:
- Genital warts
- Inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis)
- Precancerous changes in the tissue of the cervix
- Precancerous changes in the tissue of the vagina
- Precancerous changes of the vulva
What are colposcopy risks
Colposcopy is a safe procedure that carries very few risks. Rarely, complications from biopsies taken during colposcopy can occur, including:
- Heavy bleeding
- Pelvic pain
How you prepare for a colposcopy procedure
Gynecology and obstetrics experts advise the patient that to prepare for your colposcopy, her doctor may recommend that she:
- Avoids scheduling the colposcopy during her period
- Don’t have vaginal intercourse the day or two before the colposcopy
- Don’t use tampons the day or two before the colposcopy
- Don’t use vaginal medications for the two days before the colposcopy
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
What you can expect during the colposcopy
Colposcopy is usually done in a doctor’s office, and the procedure typically takes 10 to 20 minutes. The patient will lie on her back on a table with her feet in supports, just as during a pelvic exam or Pap test.
The doctor places a metal speculum in her vagina. The speculum holds open the walls of your vagina so that your doctor can see her cervix.
The doctor positions the special magnifying instrument, called a colposcope, a few inches away from her vulva. Her doctor then shines a bright light into her vagina and looks through the lens of the colposcope, as if using binoculars.
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