Preparing For A Colposcopy: Three Things To Know

24 February 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Women who have abnormal pap smear results may be required to undergo a colposcopy. This procedure is used to gather a tissue sample that is analyzed to determine the root cause of the abnormal pap. If your gynecologist has recommended this procedure, you might be nervous or anxious. Knowing what to expect can help to alleviate your concerns and prepare you for what to expect during the visit. Here are three things you should expect from your colposcopy.

The Purpose Of A Colposcopy

A colposcopy can be used to diagnose a number of conditions, including precancerous and cancerous cells, genital warts and problems related to high-risk HPV. Your doctor may also use this procedure to follow up on treatment for a range of cervical issues. Once the results of the biopsy are complete, your doctor will share the results with you and recommend any required treatment for your condition.

The Procedure

During your colposcopy, your gynecologist will use a colposcope and a speculum to inspect the cervix and surrounding areas. A vinegar solution may be swabbed on the area to help the doctor see any areas of concern, and the gynecologist will then collect a small tissue sample to send to the laboratory for testing. If there are no problem areas, a biopsy may not be needed. The amount of pain you might feel during the biopsy procedure will depend on where the tissue sample is removed from, but your gynecologist may be able to offer local anesthetic to minimize pain. You may consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever before your appointment to help with any pain or discomfort you may have during the biopsy.

After The Procedure

You may experience some spotting after the procedure is over, so be sure to bring a feminine hygiene napkin with you to wear home. In some cases, the gynecologist may use an iodine solution during your procedure. This solution can stain your undergarment, so bring a pair with you that you don't mind throwing away. You may feel discomfort or pain in your lower abdomen after the procedure, but if the pain is severe or if you experience significant bleeding, you should contact your gynecologist. You may also feel anxious while awaiting your test results, so consider planning something to do to keep your mind off of things while you wait. Your doctor should be able to tell you how long it will take to get the results back.

Your colposcopy is a simple procedure that will tell you if you have a condition that requires further treatment. Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you might have with your doctor in advance so you can feel more comfortable with the procedure.