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Colposcopy is a medical procedure that is performed by a gynaecologist to examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva for signs of abnormal tissue or growths. The procedure is typically recommended when a Pap smear or HPV test indicates the presence of abnormal cells in the cervix, or if a patient has other symptoms or risk factors that suggest the possibility of cervical cancer or other conditions.
During a colposcopy, the patient lies on an examination table and a speculum is used to gently open the vagina. The gynaecologist then uses a colposcope, which is a special instrument that magnifies the tissue 10 to 40 times it normal size, to examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva.
If the gynaecologist sees any abnormal tissue, she may take a biopsy, which involves removing a small piece of tissue from the cervix, vagina, or vulva for further testing. The biopsy is typically done using a small tool called a biopsy forceps or a special brush.
Colposcopy is a safe and generally well-tolerated procedure, although some patients may experience mild discomfort or cramping during the procedure. Most patients are able to resume normal activities immediately after the procedure A colposcopy is a very safe procedure with few complications. Light bleeding or discharge for up to a week after the exam is normal. Results from the biopsy may take several days to a week to come back, and the gynaecologist will follow up with the patient to discuss any abnormalities and determine next steps for treatment or monitoring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Colposcopy is typically not painful, but some women may experience mild discomfort or cramping during the procedure.
Typically, you should avoid sexual intercourse, douching, and using tampons for at least 7 days before the procedure. It is also important to let your physician know if you are pregnant or taking any medications or supplements.
After the procedure, you may experience some mild cramping or spotting, which should resolve within a day or two. You can resume your normal activities and shower but avoid tubs or swimming for a week.
Dr. Corona will discuss the results of the colposcopy with you and any recommended follow-up care, such as additional testing or treatment.
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