If you had an abnormal Pap test, you might need a colposcopy. The expert obstetricians and gynecologists at Capital Women’s Care in Laurel and Silver Spring, Maryland, perform colposcopy procedures to check for early signs of disease, such as cervical cancer. Most cases of cervical cancer can be prevented through early detection and treatment. If you need a colposcopy, don’t hesitate to call or schedule an appointment online.
A colposcopy is a procedure that involves close examination of your cervix through a specialized magnifying device called a colposcope. Your provider at Capital Women’s Care looks through one end of the colposcope, which shines a light on your cervix and enlarges the view.
This procedure allows the team at Capital Women’s Care to check for abnormalities in your cervix that would be impossible to see with their eyes alone.
The team at Capital Women’s Care will most often use a colposcopy to look for precancerous tissue if the results of a Pap test show abnormal changes to the cervical cells. Just because you have an abnormal Pap test and need a colposcopy doesn’t mean you have cancer. A colposcopy simply provides more information about the abnormal cells.
The doctors at Capital Women’s Care also use colposcopies to evaluate and diagnose other gynecological conditions, such as:
You may need one or more colposcopy procedures to check the results after a treatment, such as the removal of growths or precancerous tissue.
First, your provider at Capital Women’s Care will perform a physical exam and review your medical history to determine if a colposcopy is necessary. If so, they will give you instructions on how to prepare for a colposcopy.
To ensure a clear view of your cervix, it’s best to schedule your colposcopy during a time you’re not having your period. Additionally, you should avoid having sex, using tampons, and using vaginal medications for at least 24 hours before your procedure.
During a colposcopy, you’ll lie on the exam table with your feet up on foot rests, similar to a Pap test or pelvic exam. Your provider at Capital Women’s Care will then insert a speculum into your vagina and gently spread it so your cervix is in view.
Then, they will position the colposcope at the opening of your vagina and examine your cervix. They may also swab your cervix with a mild solution that makes abnormal tissue easier to see.
If your provider finds abnormal tissue, they may perform a biopsy. Colposcopies are painless procedures, but you may experience some discomfort and vaginal bleeding for a day or two if you get a biopsy as well.
Afterward, your provider will give you instructions on how to best recover. If you had a biopsy, you may need to avoid having sex and using tampons for a short time while your cervix heals.
If you need a colposcopy, call Capital Women’s Care or book an appointment online today.