A colposcopy is a close examination of a woman’s cervix and vagina. It is performed using an instrument called a colposcope. This gives the doctor a magnified view of the cervix to check the extent and nature of any cervical cell abnormalities. A biopsy of this area may be performed during the colposcopy. A biopsy is the removal of a sample of abnormal cell tissue from the surface of the cervix for microscopic examination by a pathologist.

In preparation for the procedure, DO NOT insert anything into the vaginal canal for 48 hours prior to your procedure including: medications, tampons, sexual intercourse, etc. A colposcopy is preferably not performed when a woman has her period, although light bleeding is permissible.

Some women may experience cramping (similar to period pain) during and after the colposcopy. It is recommended that the patient takes Tylenol or an anti-inflammatory pain medication, like Ibuprofen or Midol, one hour before the procedure to minimize discomfort. The patient should avoid heavy physical exercise, sexual intercourse, swimming, bathing and spas for 24-48 hours after the procedure. These precautions are to reduce the risk of bleeding or infection. You may experience some spotting for a few days after the procedure; please use a sanitary pad, do not use a tampon.