Definition:Colposcopy is really a process which allows your physician to look at a ladies cervix and vagina utilizing a special microscope known as a colposcope. It's accustomed to look for precancerous or abnormal areas. Colposcopy can be used to recognize or eliminate the presence of any precancerous circumstances within the cervical tissue. If patient’s Pap test shows abnormal cell growth, colposcopy is generally the very first follow-up test carried out. Problems will endeavor to obtain the area that created the abnormal cells and take away it for more study (biopsy) and diagnosis. Colposcopy can also be carried out when the cervix looks abnormal throughout a routine evaluation. It might be advised for ladies with genital warts as well as for diethylstilbestrol (DES) daughters (women whose mothers took the anti-miscarriage drug DES during pregnancy together). Colposcopy can be used within the emergency department to look at sufferers of sexual assault and abuse and document any physical proof of vaginal injury.


Approximately 30-44% of ladies neglect to follow-up with colposcopy after an abnormal Pap test. Minority women, teenagers, and people of low socioeconomic status are in a larger risk of the disease.


Female that are pregnant, or who suppose that they're pregnant, must tell their physician prior to the process begins. Women that are pregnant may undergo colposcopy should they have an abnormal Pap test; special safety measures, however, should be taken during biopsy from the cervix. Patients ought to be directed to not douche, use tampons, or have intercourse every day and night before colposcopy. Patients should have unfilled their bladder and bowels before colposcopy for convenience. Colposcopy doesn't need any anesthetic medicine because pain is minimal. If patient’s biopsy is performed, there might be moderate cramps or perhaps a sharp pinching once the tissue is taken away. To reduce this pain, a doctor may recommend ibuprofen (Motrin) taken the night time before and also the morning from the process no later than Half an hour prior to the appointment. Patients who're pregnant or allergic to aspirin or ibuprofen can instead take acetaminophen.


Colposcopy is generally carried out inside a doctor's office and it is much like a normal gynecologic examination. A device known as a speculum is injected to keep the vagina open, and also the gynecologist discusses the cervix and vagina utilizing a colposcope, a low-power microscope made to magnify the cervix 10-40 times its normal size. Most colposcopes are attached to a relevant video monitor that displays the region of great interest. Photographs are taken throughout the evaluation to document abnormal areas.

The colposcope is positioned away from patient's body and not touches doctor’s skin. The cervix and vagina are swabbed with dilute acetic acid vinegar. The answer highlights abnormal areas by turning them white rather than a normal pink color. Abnormal areas may also be recognized by searching for a characteristic pattern produced by abnormal arteries.

If any abnormal areas are noticed, a doctor will require a biopsy from the tissue, a typical process that takes about Quarter-hour. Several samples may be taken, with respect to the size the abnormal area. A biopsy could cause temporary soreness and cramping, which often disappear in seconds. When the abnormal area seems to extend within the cervical canal, a scraping from the canal can also be done. The biopsy answers are generally available inside a week.

When the tissue sample shows abnormal growth or perhaps is precancerous, and when the whole abnormal area is visible, a doctor can destroy the tissue using one of many procedures, including ones which use high temperature, extreme cold, or lasers. Another procedure, known as a loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP), uses low-voltage, high-frequency radio waves to excise tissue. If the abnormal tissue is at the cervical canal, a cone biopsy is going to be required.

Morbidity and mortality rates

Difficulties related to colposcopy are incredibly rare. There's a risk how the process will miss precancerous or cancerous tissues and therefore prolong treatment before cancer is becoming advanced.


Patients might have bleeding or infection after biopsy. Bleeding is generally managed having a topical medicine prescribed through the doctor. If colposcopy is conducted on the pregnant patient, there's a risk of premature labor.

Someone should call her physician immediately if she realizes the following symptoms:

  • fever, chills, or an embarrassing vaginal odor
  • lower abdominal pain
  • heavy vaginal bleeding

Normal results

If visual inspection implies that the top of cervix is smooth and pink, this really is regarded as normal. Areas that appear to be abnormal might actually be normal variations; a biopsy will show if the tissue is common or abnormal. Abnormal problems that may be discovered using colposcopy and biopsy include precancerous tissue changes (cervical dysplasia), cancer, and cervical warts brought on by human papilloma virus.

Who performs the process and where could it be carried out?

Colposcopy might be carried out with a gynecologist or other qualified doctor within an outpatient setting. A gynecologist focuses on other locations of women's overall health, pregnancy, labor and childbirth, prenatal testing, and genetics. In the event of sexual assault, a nurse practitioner or registered nurse may perform the process. If patient’s biopsy is conducted, a pathologist examines the tissue samples within powerful microscope within the laboratory and sends the outcomes towards the doctor who, consequently, informs the individual from the observation of the results.

Questions a patient should ask a doctor

  • How long will the process take place?
  • Will a biopsy be practiced?
  • What may happen when the answers are positive for cancer or another abnormality?
  • Why is colposcopy advised for a patient’s case?
  • When to discover the outcomes of patient?


If patient’s biopsy ended, there might be a dark vaginal release afterwards. Following the sample is taken away; a doctor applies Monsel's means to fix the region to prevent the bleeding. If this mixes with blood, it makes a black fluid that appears like coffee grounds. This fluid might be gift for a few days following the process. It's also normal to possess some spotting after colposcopy. Pain-relieving medicine could be come to lessen any post-procedural cramping. Patients should avoid using tampons, douche, or have sexual intercourse not less than a week following the process (or before physician says its safe) due to the risk of infection.


As the Pap test is an efficient screening test for abnormal cell development of the cervix, it's an insufficient diagnostic option to colposcopy due to the possibility of false negative results (10-50%). Sometimes, a repeat Pap test might be suggested before carrying out colposcopy.

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