Following an irregular pap smear, an Ogden Clinic specialist may ask a patient to come in for a colposcopy exam. A colposcopy exam is a procedure used to observe and assess tissue in the vulva, vagina, and cervix. During the procedure, the doctor will use an instrument known as a colposcope to collect samples of abnormal tissue. A biopsy of this abnormal tissue can diagnose cervicitis, genital warts, and cancer in the vulva, vagina, or cervix.
To prepare for your colposcopy exam at Ogden Clinic, your doctor may suggest:
During your colposcopy exam at Ogden Clinic, your doctor will have you put on a gown and lie back on the exam table with your feet in supports, similar to a pap test. The doctor will then place a speculum into your vagina. A speculum is a metal instrument used to dilate the vaginal walls, so that the doctor can observe the whole vagina and cervix. The doctor will then place a magnifying instrument, similar to binoculars, a few inches away from the vulva and use a bright light to look into the vagina. If the doctor observes any abnormal tissue they will take a biopsy sample of the cervix or vagina tissue. Removing tissue from the cervix is not typically painful, but may cause minor discomfort and cramping. However, removing tissue from the vagina is painful, and your doctor will use a local anesthetic to prevent pain. A colposcopy procedure generally lasts only 10-20 minutes.
Following your colposcopy, you may experience light bleeding or pain in the vaginal area. Your Ogden Clinic doctor will follow up with the results of your biopsy and let you know if you need any further testing or treatment.
If you had an irregular pap smear and would like further testing with a colposcopy, please contact one of the gynecologists at Ogden Clinic today.