What is it?
A colposcopy is a procedure that examines the cervix under a microscope.

Why do I need it?
Colposcopy is done if you have an abnormal pap test. A pap test just scrapes some cells off the surface of the cervix. If the pathologist feels that the cells do not look healthy, the next step is to figure out what part of the cervix the cells are coming from, and how severe the abnormality is. With colposcopy, we can see the cervix in more detail, and any abnormal areas can be biopsied.

How is it done?
You will be asked to lay on a table with your feet in the stirrups, similar to a pap. The doctor will use a speculum to look at your cervix with a microscope. A vinegar solution may be used to make abnormal cells stand out more clearly. A small tissue sample or biopsy may be taken. It is important to follow up with your doctor in 5 to 7 days to go over the results of the biopsy and determine whether more treatment is needed.