An abnormal Pap smear certainly sets off your alarm bells, but it doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. To get a better look at your reproductive organs, Mina Sinacori, MD, MPH, FACOG and M. Bruce Christopherson, MD, FACOG, at Memorial Women’s Specialists, can perform an in-office colposcopy. To learn more about the diagnostic test, call the office in Houston, Texas, or request an appointment online today.

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What is a colposcopy?

A colposcopy is a diagnostic test that allows Memorial Women’s Specialists to closely examine your vaginal and cervical tissue.

During the in-office procedure, your OB/GYN uses a colposcope, which is a magnifying device that enlarges the viewing area. It allows your provider to find problems that may not be seen during a normal visual examination.

Why would I need a colposcopy?

Your provider discusses in detail why you need a colposcopy during an examination. You may benefit from a colposcopy if your Pap smear results are abnormal.

The in-office procedure may also diagnose:

  • Genital warts
  • Precancerous tissue changes in your cervix, vagina, or vulva
  • Cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix)

Memorial Women’s Specialists may recommend a colposcopy to determine the underlying cause of your pelvic pain or abnormal bleeding. The diagnostic test may also find benign polyps.

What happens during a colposcopy?

Memorial Women’s Specialists is a state-of-the-art OB/GYN practice and performs your colposcopy at the office. The diagnostic test takes 10-20 minutes.

During your colposcopy, your provider has you lie on the exam table with your feet in stirrups. Then, they insert a speculum into your vagina to get a better view of your cervix.

Your provider positions the colposcope outside your vulva, shines a bright light, and uses the magnifying device to closely examine your tissue.

Your provider may apply a solution to your tissue that makes abnormalities easier to see. They biopsy any tissue abnormalities and send the sample to a lab for testing.

What happens after a colposcopy?

What happens after your colposcopy depends on whether or not you had a biopsy. If you didn’t have a biopsy, your OB/GYN reviews their findings with you and provides recommendations for follow-up care. You may experience some light spotting, but there’s no need for downtime.

If you had a biopsy, your provider talks to you about when you can expect your results and any additional tests you may need. You may also experience pain, cramping, and dark spotting after a biopsy.

Memorial Women’s Specialists recommends over-the-counter pain medication to manage discomfort and menstrual pads for spotting. They also recommend no tampons or vaginal intercourse for at least a week after your biopsy so your tissue can heal.

To learn more about a colposcopy and how it may benefit your health, call Memorial Women’s Specialists or request an appointment online today.