Colposcopy is an exam that’s most commonly performed to provide an in-depth evaluation of the cervix, vulva, and vaginal canal following an abnormal Pap test or HPV test result or to evaluate abnormalities identified during the normal pelvic exam. Sometimes, colposcopy exams are performed to evaluate the effectiveness of an ongoing treatment. Colposcopy exams are painless and can be performed right in the office.
Colposcopy uses a special device called a colposcope to provide clear images of the cervix and other areas. The colposcope features a bright light and a magnifying lens to make viewing these areas easier.
During the exam, Dr. Tureanu uses a speculum to gently widen your vaginal canal, just as he does during a routine pelvic exam. Then, he applies a special spray to highlight abnormal areas and make them easier to see. He places the colposcope at the vaginal opening without actually placing the scope inside your vagina. Then he uses the light and lens to perform the evaluation. In some cases, he may decide to use a special camera to obtain images for future reference.
If Dr. Tureanu spots an abnormal area of tissue on or near the cervix or inside the vaginal canal, he’ll probably perform a biopsy to obtain a small sample of tissue for further evaluation in a lab. Biopsies are performed in the office, sometimes using a local anesthetic to numb the tissue that’s being biopsied.
You’ll probably have some light bleeding or spotting, but that will clear up soon after the biopsy. You’ll also probably need to avoid wearing tampons, douching, or sitting in a bath, hot tub, or pool while the area heals. Dr. Tureanu will provide you with specific guidance on what you should expect.
No; abnormal tissue can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases and some other types of infections. The biopsy will help determine the underlying cause so you can receive the most appropriate care.