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What is a Colposcopy?

What is a Colposcopy?

Have you been experiencing pain or bleeding during vaginal intercourse? There are many reasons why this may be happening to you. At Women for Women Obstetrics and Gynecology, we offer gynecological management to help patients like you diagnose and treat their conditions. Our gyno in Lake Success will perform specific procedures in our office to identify the source of your gynecological problem and will develop a treatment plan to best address it. One of the many procedures that we offer our patients is a colposcopy. Schedule a visit with us, and we will let you know if this procedure is right for you!

Colposcopy Overview

A colposcopy is a diagnostic procedure used for examining your vulva, vagina, and cervix. It is typically performed after the results of a pap smear are deemed abnormal. Other reasons why your doctor may suggest a colposcopy may include:

  • Bleeding during vaginal intercourse
  • Pelvic pain
  • Vaginal discharge or irritation
  • Visible growths, or polyps, on your cervix
  • Cancer

A colposcopy can also help diagnose:

  • Genital warts
  • Cervical cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Cervicitis
  • Abnormal cervical cells

Before the Procedure

There is not much preparation needed for a colposcopy. These are a few things that you may be asked to do before undergoing the procedure:

  • Ask your doctor to explain the procedure or provide you with informative brochures
  • Inform your doctor if you are on blood thinners or think that you may be pregnant
  • Schedule the appointment on a day when you are not menstruating heavily
  • Avoid having vaginal intercourse, douching, using vaginal creams, or tampons 1-2 days before the procedure
  • Empty your bladder and/or bowels
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever 

What to expect

Gyno in Lake Success

A colposcopy can be performed in your doctor’s office and will typically take approximately 10-20 minutes to complete. If you begin to feel anxious at any point during the procedure, try to take deep breaths to help you relax. You will first lie back on the examination with your feet placed in stirrups, similarly to a pelvic exam. A speculum will then be inserted into your vagina to separate the vaginal walls. Your cervix and vagina will be swabbed with cotton, and the saline will be used to remove any mucus that may be present. Your doctor will use an instrument called a colposcope during the procedure. It is an electric microscope that allows your doctor to see your cervix clearly by illuminating and magnifying the area. The colposcope will not touch you but will be placed near your vaginal opening. Your doctor will look through the colposcope and decide to take images or conduct a biopsy if there are any suspicious abnormalities. 

 If a cervical or vaginal biopsy is needed, your doctor will collect a tissue sample from the area and then have it tested in the lab. You may experience some discomfort during the biopsy, such as mild cramps or pressure. Your doctor may also apply Monsel’s solution after the biopsy to control the bleeding. This typically causes you to have a dark discharge for a few days that looks similar to coffee grounds.

After the Procedure

After the exam is complete, you can expect to return to your home or job right away. You may experience some light bleeding for 1-2 days afterward. A pad can be worn during this time. A colposcopy is generally a safe routine procedure. However, it is still possible for complications to arise, especially if a biopsy was taken. On rare occasions, patients may experience:

  • Soreness
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Infections
  • Yellow, malodorous vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain

Try to avoid using tampons, having vaginal intercourse, or douching for a week after the biopsy. If all the abnormal tissue was removed during the biopsy, there might be no need for further testing. You must continue to go to your doctor for regular check-ups, and pap smears to ensure that the abnormal cells have not returned.

Contact A Gyno in Lake Success, NY

If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the conditions we discussed and would like to schedule an appointment at Women for Women Obstetrics and Gynecology, contact us today! Our gyno in Lake Success will ensure that you receive the best care possible. For more information about our services, please feel free to visit our website.