A colposcopy can help identify the cause of an abnormal Pap smear. The doctors at Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates, PA in Beaumont, Texas provide routine Pap smear tests and colposcopies, if needed, to monitor your female reproductive system.
Colposcopy Q & A
A colposcopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to carefully examine your vulva, vagina, and cervix using a magnifying instrument called a colposcope.
The colposcopy happens at your doctor’s office while you lie on a table with your feet supported with a speculum holding the walls of your vagina open, similar to a Pap smear.
A solution is used to clear mucus from your vagina and cervix. This fluid also helps identify tissue with suspicious cells.
When your doctor locates unusual cells during your colposcopy, they can collect tissue samples for laboratory testing. This sample is called a biopsy.
A Pap smear, or Pap test, is a medical screening that tests for cancer of the cervix, which is the entrance to the uterus. If you’ve had a positive (abnormal) Pap smear, your doctor may recommend a colposcopy. A colposcopy can help diagnose precancerous changes to the cervix, vulva, and vagina. It can also identify inflammation of the cervix.
Your doctor works with you to ensure you remain as comfortable as possible throughout your colposcopy.
You may feel tingling or burning when your doctor swabs your vagina and cervix with the solution at the beginning of the procedure. However, it’s otherwise harmless and essential: It helps make any suspicious areas more visible.
Depending on whether abnormal tissue is found, one or more biopsies may be needed. Two types of tissue may be biopsied:
- Vaginal or vulvar tissue: a local anesthetic numbs the area to prevent pain
- Cervical tissue: you may feel mild discomfort or pressure
If your doctor takes a biopsy, they may apply a solution to reduce bleeding.
Your doctor provides instructions regarding the use of tampons, vaginal intercourse, and douches for a short period. You also receive information regarding when you can expect your laboratory results and what next steps, if any, will be taken to monitor your abnormal cells.
Call or schedule your colposcopy with Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates, PA online today.