A colposcopy is a procedure that examines your vagina and cervix using a lighted, magnifying instrument called a colposcope. Colposcopy is usually done in combination with other methods of cervical cancer screening, such as a Pap test. At Northwest Women’s Center of Houston, TX, we offer this service to help in the diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions. Continue reading to learn more about colposcopy.
What Happens During a Colposcopy?
Your health care provider will use the colposcope to examine your cervix while you are lying on an exam table with your feet supported. This position allows your healthcare provider to look at the curves of your vagina and remove any fluid or cells that may be present because of bleeding or other causes.
Why Might I Need a Colposcopy?
The main purposes of colposcopy are:
- Checking for precancerous cell changes, which can be treated before they become cancerous
- Removing precancerous cells when found
- Checking for signs of cancer or infection, such as genital warts
- Collecting a sample (biopsy) of tissues to send to a lab for testing
Learning from your results will help you and your healthcare provider decide on the best treatment plan for you.
How Do I Prepare for a Colposcopy?
Before having a colposcopy, let your healthcare provider at Northwest Women’s Center know if you are pregnant or have any other medical conditions or allergies. Your doctor will give you detailed instructions on preparing for the exam, which may include avoiding sexual intercourse beforehand.
Is a Colposcopy Painful?
Many women do not find colposcopy to be painful, but it can cause some mild discomfort. Your healthcare provider will use a local anesthetic gel or spray before beginning the procedure so you should feel relatively little pain.
What Are the Risks of a Colposcopy?
Most colposcopies are performed without complication, but there is always a small chance that you could experience bleeding or other side effects, as with any medical procedure.
Learn More About the Colposcopy Procedure
If you are concerned about potential side effects or have questions about what to expect during your colposcopy, call Northwest Women’s Center of Houston, TX, today at 281-444-3440. Our providers have years of combined experience helping women with their reproductive health and are open to new patients in and around the community.