What is Colposcopy?
If your Ob/Gyn receives an abnormal Pap test (which is quite common – about 10 percent of Pap tests show abnormal cells), he or she will recommend that you have a colposcopy.
A colposcopy is a thorough diagnostic procedure that allows your gynecologist to examine your cervix for any abnormal cells or blood vessels using a microscope known as a colposcope. A colposcope is a specialized instrument that includes a magnifying lens, which allows your Viva Eve Ob/Gyn, a specialist in colposcopy, to visualize the surfaces of the cervix, vagina, and vulva in great detail and also help determine if you need to have a test for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
A colposcopy is usually performed by your Viva Eve gynecologist right in the office. Here is how you should prepare for your visit:
- Try to schedule your colposcopy when you are not menstruating.
- Take an over-the counter pain reliever recommended by your doctor 30 to 60 minutes before the procedure if you are worried about mild cramping.
- Do not insert anything into your vagina for a full 24 hours before the procedure — including vaginal creams, douches, or tampons.
- Do not have sex for 24 hours before and after your colposcopy procedure.
- Do not take aspirin before the colposcopy procedure without your doctor’s knowledge, as it can increase the chances of bleeding. Your doctor will ask you to discontinue any prescription blood thinners a few days before the procedure.
- Discuss the possibility that you are pregnant with your gynecologist. He can probably do the colposcopy without injury to you or your fetus, but he may decide not to do a biopsy.
- Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking or any allergies to medications.
- Discuss any bleeding problems you have had in the past.
- Tell your gynecologist if you have been recently treated for a vaginal, cervical, or pelvic infection.
- A colposcopy procedure usually takes 10 to 20 minutes. It’s primarily an observational test that allows your colposcopy gynecologist to visually examine your reproductive organs. He only needs to do a colposcopy biopsy procedure if he finds something unusual.
Do the benefits of colposcopy outweigh any risks?
- The benefits of the colposcopy procedure far outweigh any risks associated with it.
- If precancerous cells are found via colposcopy and biopsy, treatment can allow your doctor to prevent the development of cervical cancer.
Colposcopy is a very common and safe procedure with very rare side effects. You should however contact your colposcopy doctor if you have any of the following:
- The discharge begins to have a strong, foul odor.
- Your pain does not improve with over-the-counter medication.
- Bleeding continues for longer than seven days.
- Significant bleeding occurs, which causes you to use more than one sanitary pad per hour.
- You have severe lower abdominal pain.
- You run a fever or have chills after a colposcopy biopsy.