Colposcopy is a procedure that is performed to examine the cervix or vagina after an abnormal Pap smear. A colposcope is like a large microscope and allows your provider to see abnormalities that are not visible to the naked eye.

Colposcopy is performed in our office and is best performed immediately following your period.

How is it done?

The procedure itself is similar to a Pap smear. Your feet are placed in stirrups and a speculum placed in the vagina. A special solution is applied to the cervix to allow visualization of abnormalities. If anything abnormal is seen, a biopsy is taken. A biopsy is often also taken from the inner surface of the cervix. These biopsies may cause cramping and mild discomfort.

Special instructions

For 24 hours before the test, do not place anything in the vagina. This includes douching, tampons, vaginal medications, or sexual intercourse. If you are on your period or having heavy bleeding, please call the office, as your provider may want to reschedule.

What should I expect after the procedure?

Most women have some cramping and spotting following the procedure. You may have light spotting or bleeding for several days. Once the biopsied areas begin healing, you may also notice a dark brown or black discharge. This discharge is similar in appearance to coffee grounds and is due to the medication placed on the biopsied sites to stop bleeding.

For 7-10 days after the procedure:

▪ Do not place anything in the vagina (including sex or tampons).

▪ Do not douche.

▪ Call the office if you have significant pelvic pain, fever, or heavy bleeding (more than one pad per hour).