A colposcopy is a diagnostic test used to examine cervical tissue when the results of your pap test are abnormal, or if you have certain symptoms like bleeding or pain during sex.
It’s a routine and common procedure to rule out health issues and determine if you need further testing or treatment.
3 reasons you need a colposcopy
A colposcopy allows your gynecologist to take a closer look at your cervical and vaginal tissue under magnification to look for signs of abnormalities. Like other diagnostic tests, the results can come back negative. They can also catch health problems like cervical cancer early when they’re easier to treat.
The procedure is similar to a pap smear but is performed using a colposcope that scrapes a small amount of cervical tissue for further analysis or biopsy if necessary.
Here are three situations where our team may recommend a colposcopy for further screening:
1. An abnormal pap smear
You may need a colposcopy if you have abnormal results from a pap smear or other cervical cancer screening tests.
Abnormal results may indicate the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells in the cervix or vaginal tissue.
2. Symptoms like vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain
In addition to abnormal screening test results, a colposcopy may also be recommended if you have symptoms like unusual vaginal bleeding, discharge, or pelvic pain.
Those symptoms may be a sign of a cervical, vaginal, or vulvar issue that needs further screening or treatment.
However, an abnormal pap smear and further screening with a colposcopy isn’t necessarily a sign of cancer or a health problem. Our team may recommend more screening just as a precaution and to rule out the need for more testing.
3. History or high risk of cervical cancer
Your doctor may also recommend a colposcopy if you have other factors that may increase your risk of cervical cancer, like a history of sexually transmitted infections or a previous cancer diagnosis.
If you’re unsure of your cancer risk or have unusual symptoms like pelvic pain or bleeding, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
The best way to protect your health and lower your risk of cervical cancer and other conditions is to schedule regular well-woman exams. Our team is always available to answer your questions and discuss any concerns you may have about your health.
For more information about colposcopy and other women’s health screenings and services, contact Memorial Women’s Specialists today to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist at our office in Houston.