Abnormal Pap smear results are enough to make any woman’s stomach turn. A simple in-office colposcopy procedure can help your OB/GYN at Women’s Healthcare Group in York, Pennsylvania, get a better idea of your test results and potential treatment options if needed. If you recently had an abnormal Pap test or know you need a colposcopy, schedule an appointment today by clicking on the online scheduler. You can also call the office directly to book your exam.
A simple procedure that takes just 15 to 30 minutes, a colposcopy is an exam that typically takes place after an abnormal Pap smear result. The test itself is similar to a pelvic exam, except your OB/GYN uses a magnifying tool, called a colposcope, to examine your vulva, vagina, and cervix.
The magnification from the colposcope greatly enlarges the normal view of your cervix, so your practitioner can view abnormalities on the spot. A colposcopy is recommended if your pelvic exam or Pap smear points to any abnormalities of the cervix. It can help diagnose gynecological problems such as:
Once you lie down on the exam table, your physician inserts a speculum into your vagina, just as with a Pap test. Next, your doctor places a vinegar-like solution on your cervix to get a better look at any abnormal cervical cells. This solution makes abnormal areas appear more obvious.
The colposcope, a magnifying instrument, is then used to examine the inside of your vagina and cervix, though it does not actually touch your body. If your doctor spots any further abnormalities, they may perform a biopsy - which is the removal of a very small piece of skin.
Depending on your doctor’s findings, they may take a biopsy from the opening of your cervix, deeper inside your cervix, or both. A special device can be used to collect cell samples from the inside canal of your cervix, a procedure known as an endocervical curettage.
While a cervical biopsy may feel slightly uncomfortable, like a quick pinch or menstrual cramps, it typically is not extremely painful. It is perfectly normal to notice spotting, light bleeding, or dark discharge over the next few days after your biopsy. We recommend vaginal rest for a few days after a colposcopy.
The most important tip to remember before going in for a colposcopy is to avoid putting anything inside your vagina, including tampons, vaginal creams, or douches, for 24 hours beforehand. You also need to avoid vaginal sexual intercourse for at least 24 hours before your colposcopy.
It’s also important to try to avoid scheduling a colposcopy during heavy days of your period. This makes it easier for your doctor to properly examine your cervix for more abnormalities.
To learn more about what you can expect during a colposcopy, call Women’s Healthcare Group today or book an appointment online today.