What is colposcopy?
- Posted on: Feb 14 2020
At Northwest Women’s Center, Houston, TX patients can connect with our providers to learn about procedures related to women’s reproductive health. This includes certain procedures, screenings and treatments. When women are concerned regarding signs of disease in the cervix, vagina, and vulva, they may undergo a special procedure called a colposcopy. During this screening, the doctor utilizes a specialized instrument called a colposcope which helps him or her evaluate the area further.
When might I need a colposcopy?
A colposcopy may be recommended by a doctor if a women has had an abnormal result from a PAP smear. This may indicate the presence of cancer cells or disease. During the colposcopy, the doctor can remove a small sample of tissue from the cervical area to have it tested at a laboratory. This collection and assessment of cells is known as a biopsy, and can provide more information regarding the medical status of a patient.
In addition to abnormalities in a PAP test, a colposcopy may be completed to diagnose other conditions including:
- Precancerous changes in the cervix, vagina, or vulva
- Genital warts
- Cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix)
What can I expect from a colposcopy?
A colposcopy can cause some women to feel anxious. However, there is nothing to worry about. The procedure is done quickly and easily in the office. While some women may feel some discomfort, most are able to undergo treatment without any form of sedation. Some rare complications that can occur after a colposcopy include infection, pelvic pain, and heavy bleeding.
How can I prepare for a colposcopy?
There are some considerations that may be recommended prior to having a colposcopy completed.
- Avoid the use of vaginal medications for 48 hours prior to a colposcopy
- Avoid scheduling a colposcopy during our menstrual period
- Avoid the use of tampons for 48 hours beforehand
- Avoid sexual intercourse for 48 hours prior to a colposcopy
- Consider taking over-the-counter pain medications prior to the appointment to manage discomfort
Learn more about this and other procedures at Northwest Women’s Center
Houston, TX women can contact our providers for more information regarding the colposcopy by scheduling a consultation appointment. The practice is located at 13215 Dotson Road, Ste. 200 and can be reached by phone at (281) 444-3440.
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