Sometimes after a pap smear, results come back with abnormal cells. This is commonly caused due to HPV infections, but other types of infections including those caused by bacteria or yeast may also be the cause. When your gynecologist receives the results from the lab and abnormal cells are present, they may request a colposcopy. This procedure closely examines the cervix, vagina, and vulva for any signs of diseases. It can be used to diagnose genital warts, inflammation of the cervix, and precancerous changes in the cervix, vagina, and vulva.
What You Can Expect
The procedure can be completed in the office and takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Patients will lie on their backs with their feet in the supports, just as you would during a pelvic exam. The gynecologist doctor will insert the speculum and position a magnifying instrument, also known as a colposcope, a few inches away. The doctor will shine a bright light into the vagina and look through the colposcope lens. The cervix and vagina will be swabbed to clear anything away and a solution will be applied to the area that may cause some tingling to help highlight suspicious cells.
If there are any suspicious areas, the gynecologist doctor will biopsy the area to remove a small piece of tissue to be sent for testing. A chemical solution is applied to the biopsy area to prevent bleeding. After the colposcopy, you may be left with some cramping and/or bleeding for the next day or two. It is important to avoid tampon use and intercourse for a week after the procedure.
Patients should get the results back within two to ten days. After that, your doctor will go over the results and discuss the next steps that will need to be taken.
Contact Our Gynecology Doctor
The gynecologist at Olean Medical Group can perform a colposcopy procedure for our patients. Routine, annual gynecological exams are important as abnormal cells can be detected early. If you need a colposcopy, it will give you the peace of mind you are looking for and give you a diagnosis as soon as possible so you can get the treatment that is needed. Contact our doctor today to schedule your yearly appointment.