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It is a gynecological procedure that uses a special magnifying apparatus called colposcope to closely study your vaginal walls, vulva and uterine cervix for abnormalities in their structures or signs of disease. The cervix is the base of your womb (uterus) which makes way for the birth canal called vagina. In colposcopy, other tests such as sampling (biopsy) of tissues, acetic acid wash and use of color filters are also taken. It is the presence of “abnormal cells” in the womb that may cause cervical cancer in some women. Colposcopy test, therefore, helps the doctor in determining if treatment is required to deal with these cells.
• Colposcopy may be required after having a usual screening test for cervical
• When the pap test for cervix is found to be abnormal
• When you’re infected with HPV (Human Papillomavirus) which is responsible for the abnormality in cell changes and may develop cancer
• When your cervix didn’t appear as healthy as it should be to the doctor during the screening test
• When there is an unexplained vaginal bleeding
• When the cervix is inflamed
• When genital warts are found on your cervix
Inform your doctor:
• If you’re allergic to any medicine
• If you’re put on any medication or take blood thinners, such as warfarin or aspirin.
• If you’re pregnant or suspect of being so, then urine or blood test may be done to confirm your pregnancy. However, the test is absolutely safe even during preganacy.
• Have had vaginal bleeding problem
• Have been previously treated for cervical, vaginal or pelvic infection.
Besides these, you may be recommended by your doctor not to:
• Fix your date for the test during your menstruation time
• Have sex day or two before the test
• Use vaginal medications or tampons a day or two before the test
Colposcopy is a quick and easy procedure that takes less than half an hour. During the procedure, the doctor will insert a metal speculum in your vagina to open the vagina walls so that he/she can examine the cervix. Then, the colposcope will be placed a few inches away from your vagina so that the doctor can look on the other side through the lens. Following that, the doctor will cleanse the cervix and vagina with the vinegar solution to identify the regions of suspicious cells.
If any suspicious area is found, then the sample tissues will be sent to the lab for testing.
You may experience:
• Light vaginal bleeding for a few days
• Pain in vagina or vulvar for a day or two
• A dark excretion from your vagina
Rare complications may occur after the procedure, including:
• Pelvic pain
If you experience severe bleeding or abdominal pain, then notify your doctor immediately.