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A Colposcopy is an exam that allows the doctor to examine the cervix more closely. Dr. Rivera is aided by the use of a colposcope, a lighted instrument that rests outside of the vagina during the exam. The colposcope magnifies the cervix and somewhat resembles a microscope.

Dr. Rivera will look into the colposcope and look at the cervix. What he sees through the scope maybe projected onto a monitor. You are welcome to watch, but it is not required. This procedure will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

What Happens During a Colposcopy?

You will be asked to undress from the waist down. You will be given a sheet to cover your midsection and thighs. You will then be asked to lay down on the exam table and to place your feet in the stirrups.

Dr. Rivera will then place a lubricated speculum into the vagina, just like in a Pap smear. He will widen the speculum to view the cervix.

Dr. Rivera will then place the colposcope near the opening of the vagina. It is important to note that the colposcope remains outside of the vagina during the exam.

Dr. Rivera will then view the cervix and may take a cotton swab to view the outer edges of the cervix. He or she is looking for visual abnormalities.

Next, the Dr. Rivera will place an vinegar wash on the cervix. Some women feel a slight burning sensation while the solution is being applied. The discomfort disappears within seconds. The vinegar solution will make abnormal cells on the cervix temporarily turn white.

Based on what the doctor finds during the colposcopy, he or she may want to do remove a small amount of tissue from the cervix. This is called a cervical biopsy. Most women report feeling discomfort or mild pain while the sample is being taken. A cervical biopsy takes a few seconds to obtain each sample.

Dr. Rivera may also want to perform an endocervical curettage (ECC). This is similar to a cervical biopsy, yet a sample is taken from the endocervical canal (passageway between the cervix and uterus). Many women report feeling moderate pain during the ECC, yet it dissipates after it is over.

Dr. Rivera may then apply a solution to prevent bleeding from the cervix.

The colposcope is then removed away from the vagina and the speculum is carefully removed. You can sit up when you feel comfortable and begin to dress.

After The Exam

You may experience spotting, vaginal discharge and cramping after having a colposcopy/biopsy.

Call if you experience the following:

  • Bleeding through a sanitary in an hour
  • Foul smelling discharge
  • Bright red bleeding
  • Fever over 100F or chills
  • Spotting for more than seven days
  • Cramping that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medications

>> Click here to watch a video of a Colposcopy Exam.

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