What is a Colposcopy?
If you’ve had an abnormal pap smear, then you’ll need a colposcopy. This is where we look more closely at your cervix with a microscope. We may do small biopsies have any abnormal appearing areas. These biopsies should be relatively painless. At the end, if biopsies are done, we place monsel’s solution on the cervix to help the site heal. Many abnormal Pap tests are caused by viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, or other types of infection, such as those caused by bacteria, fungi (yeast), or protozoa (Trichomonas). Natural cervical cell changes (atrophic vaginitis) related to menopause can also cause an abnormal Pap test. In some cases, untreated cervical cell changes that cause abnormal Pap tests may progress to precancerous or cancerous changes.
Why It Is Done?
Colposcopy is done to:
- Look at the cervix for problem areas when a Pap test was abnormal. If an area of abnormal tissue is found during colposcopy, a cervical biopsy or a biopsy from inside the opening of the cervix (endocervical canal) is usually done.
- Check a sore or other problem (such as genital warts) found on or around the vagina and cervix.
- Follow up abnormal areas seen on a previous colposcopy. Colposcopy can also be done to see if treatment for a problem worked.
- Look at the cervix for problem areas if an HPV test shows a high-risk type of HPV is present.
During colposcopy, your doctor uses a lighted magnifying device that looks like a pair of binoculars (colposcope). The colposcope allows your doctor to see problems that would be missed by the naked eye. A camera can be attached to the colposcope to take pictures or videos of the vagina and cervix.
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Women's Health Center & Primary Care provides Tennessee Women's Health Care with offices in Tazewell and Morristown.
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