Colposcopy is an examination of the cervix and vagina with a low power microscope called a colposcope. It is used to aid in the diagnosis of cervical disease after abnormal PAP smear results or when you cervix looks abnormal after an examination. This examination takes between 10 and 20 minutes.
During your colposcopy, you will lie on the exam table just like you do when you have a regular pelvic exam. Your healthcare provider will use an instrument called a speculum to hold the walls of the vagina open. They will then apply a solution to the cervix. This causes any abnormal areas to turn white.
The cervix is then viewed through the colposcope, which is placed at the opening of the vagina. Your provider will look though the colposcope to locate any problem areas on the cervix or in the vagina. The colposcope provides a magnified view that clearly shows abnormalities and locates the appropriate area from which to take tissue samples (biopsy). If any areas are of concern your healthcare provider may recommend a biopsy or LEEP procedure.