A colposcopy can provide essential information about the health of the vaginal and cervical tissues, especially following an abnormal Pap test.
Our practitioners at Northwest Women's Center will provide you with the right treatment fit for your needs.
Colposcopy Q & A
Colposcopy is an in-office exam that uses a special scope called a colposcope to closely examine the vaginal canal and the cervix (the uterine opening). The colposcope uses a light and a magnifier to make it easier for the doctor to examine these tissues and to look for areas of abnormal tissue that may need to be biopsied so they can be examined in a lab.
Colposcopies are most commonly ordered when a Pap test or an HPV test yields an abnormal result. The colposcopy can enable the doctor to see the vaginal canal and cervix more closely and to obtain tissue samples for further evaluation so the most appropriate treatment can be provided. It may also be performed to assess abnormalities noticed during a routine pelvic exam.
Colposcopy is performed right in the office during a regular pelvic exam. After the vagina has been gently widened using a speculum, a special solution is applied to the vaginal canal and cervix. This solution acts to highlight areas of abnormal tissue so they’re easier to identify. Then the colposcope is positioned at the opening of the vagina and focused on the tissues lining the canal and the cervix. If an abnormal area is identified, special instruments can be used to gently remove a small portion of cells or tissue for additional evaluation under a microscope. The colposcope itself is not placed inside the vagina but used instead to shine a light on the vagina and provide magnification when examining the tissues inside the vagina and on the surface of the cervix.
The team at Northwest Women’s Center in Houston, TX, performs colposcopy right in the office in an exam that typically takes less than 20 minutes to complete.
What our patients are saying
"I have been a patient of Dr. White going on 4 years (both for OB and GYN). He and his nurses are fantastic. He has an excellent bedside manner and actually takes time to listen to complaints and offers valid solutions. He is not a pill pusher so if this is what you are looking for, look elsewhere. Anytime I have called with questions/concerns, I receive a call-back within one hour. This is impressive considering how busy they are. I have also not had any problems with front desk staff" - Angelle V.
Patients can resume their regular activities immediately afterward. If a biopsy was taken, there may be some spotting or light bleeding which can be controlled with a pad. Mild cramping may also occur.
Patients may be instructed to avoid baths, intercourse, douching and tampons while the biopsied area heals, a process that takes just a few days.
When tissue samples are taken, the results of the lab analysis should be ready within two to three weeks.