Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology
Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Atlanta, GA & Alpharetta, GA
The results of a colposcopy, an in-depth examination of the cervix, help diagnose or rule out complications causing cell changes in the area. The board-certified gynecologists at Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology in Atlanta and Alpharetta, Georgia, use the test to evaluate changes detected during a typical pelvic exam. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book online today.
Colposcopy Q & A
What is colposcopy?
Colposcopy is a test for cervical cancer that’s a bit more in-depth than a typical Pap smear. During a colposcopy at Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology, your provider examines your cervix, vagina, and vulva using a microscope-like device called a colposcope.
Before the examination begins, your provider washes your cervix with vinegar or a similar solution. They also swab the area with cotton to clear away any mucus. The vinegar solution makes it easier for your provider to see any abnormal cells in the region.
If your provider detects abnormal cells during your colposcopy, they collect a tissue sample (biopsy) from the cervix or vagina and send it to a lab for examination and testing. Your provider applies a chemical to the tissue after a biopsy to limit any resulting bleeding.
When do I need a colposcopy?
Every few years, you get a Pap smear as part of your annual pelvic examination at Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology.
During a Pap smear, your provider gently collects cells from your cervix and examines them for abnormalities. A colposcopy is the next step if they detect anything unusual about the cells.
Abnormalities detected during a pelvic exam or Pap smear may indicate:
- Cervical inflammation
- Genital warts
- Precancerous changes to the cervix
- Precancerous changes to the vaginal tissue
- Precancerous changes to the vulva
The Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology team uses colposcopy to definitively diagnose conditions like these, as well as cancer in the region.
How should I prepare for a colposcopy?
There are a few steps you’ll need to take and considerations to make when scheduling your colposcopy. By preparing well for your colposcopy, you improve your chances of getting accurate results and experiencing a complication-free procedure.
You can get ready for your upcoming colposcopy by:
- Avoiding sexual intercourse for a day or two in advance
- Avoiding tampon use for a day or two in advance
- Stopping the use of any vaginal medications or products
- Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever shortly before your visit
- Rescheduling if you’ll be on your menstrual period
If there are any additional steps to take based on your health or current medications, the team at Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology lets you know ahead of time.
If your provider recommends a colposcopy, it doesn’t always indicate something is wrong. To schedule your next examination and find out if you need a colposcopy, book an appointment by phone or online at Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology today.
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