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This information is for general purposes only. If you have any medical problems or complications during pregnancy this information may not be applicable.
1) What is colposcopy?
Colposcopy is a way for your doctor to use a special magnifying device to look at your vulva, vagina, and cervix. If a problem is seen during colposcopy, a small sample of
tissue (biopsy) may be taken from the cervix or from inside the opening of the cervix (endocervical canal). The sample is looked at under a microscope.
2) How do I prepare for this test?
Do not use any medicine or cream in the vagina for two days before this test. If you have your period on the day of your test, you may need to reschedule your appointment. If
your flow is very light, we can usually do the procedure. If your flow is heavy, we'll want to reschedule. Please call us to make a new appointment, or if you're unsure if you
should have your test or not. If you can take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen Sodium, it is suggested that you premedicate one
hour before your appointment.
3. What will happen during this test?
You are awake during the test. It takes about 15-20 minutes. First, a speculum is put into the vagina. The doctor inserts a small swab to clean the cervix.
The doctor then uses the colposcope to look at your genital area. The colposcope does not go into the vagina. The doctor looks through the colposcope as she examines the
vulva, vagina, and cervix. So far, this test feels a lot like a routine pelvic (or internal) exam. One difference is that the speculum may have to be re-positioned frequently. For
some women, this is uncomfortable. If you take slow, deep breaths, it will help you relax through this part of the test. Your doctor will then apply a vinegar solution which will
allow them to visualize any abnormal cells. Any areas showing abnormal cells will be biopsied. When the biopsy is done, it feels like a "pinch." If a biopsy is done, it can cause
some cramps, like menstrual cramps. If the biopsy is from outside the vagina, a numbing medicine such as Novocaine may be used first. The area of the biopsy may bleed. A
medicine will be applied to the area to stop the bleeding.
4. What happens after a biopsy?
Some women who have had a biopsy feel some cramps for a short while. If you have any cramping after the procedure, you may continue the Ibuprofen or Naproxen Sodium for
relief. A few women feel faint or dizzy for a short while after a biopsy. If this happens, you will be asked to rest until you are well enough to leave. You do not need sedatives or
anesthesia for this test, so it's OK for you to leave by yourself. You may have light discharge from the vagina (brown, black, or pink) or light bleeding for a few days.
After this test, your next period might be a little heavy.
5. Are there any special instructions to follow after a biopsy?
Do not have intercourse (sex), use tampons, douche, or put anything in your vagina for one week. Do not do any heavy exercise, aerobics, or lifting for 2 days. You should change
your pad at least every six hours. If you take birth control pills, it is important to keep taking them even though you are not having sex. If you used another method of birth
control (diaphragm, condom, foam), use it when you start having sex again