Colposcopy

The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). A special magnifying device with a light, called a colposcope, can be used to visually examine the cervix and vagina. Female Reproductive OrgansCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Heavy bleeding
    • Fever, chills
    • Severe pain
    • Bad-smelling vaginal discharge

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). A special magnifying device with a light, called a colposcope, can be used to visually examine the cervix and vagina.

    Female Reproductive Organs
    Nucleus Image
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Colposcopy is usually done when a:

    • Pap test
      is abnormal
    • Human papillomavirus (HPV) test
      is positive for certain subtypes (These subtypes place you at an increased risk for developing cancer.)

    This procedure can be used to:


    • Help diagnose
      cervical cancer
      or precancerous changes
    • Give more information about abnormal cells found on a pap smear

    • Find the location where a tissue
      biopsy
      should be done
    • Monitor treatment of abnormalities of the cervix
    • Allow a visual exam of the cervix, vaginal walls, or vulva

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare. But, no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have colposcopy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications. These may include:

    • Bleeding
    • Infection
    • Discomfort