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Colposcopy - When & Why Do You Need It?

Dr. Sagar 91% (28 ratings)
DGO , MBBS
Gynaecologist, Pune  •  23 years experience
Colposcopy - When & Why Do You Need It?

Colposcopy is a medical diagnostic procedure that your doctor uses to have a good and clear look at your cervix. The word has been derived from the Greek work "kolpos" meaning "hollow, womb or vagina" and "skopos" meaning "look at." The diagnosis is performed with the help of an instrument called "colposcope" that helps the doctor to get to the minutest details of your cervix, vagina, and vulva that are easily missed by the naked eye.

When and why do you need Colposcopy?
Your doctor decides when you need to opt for colposcopy. Usually, abnormal Pap Test results are the chief reason behind colposcopy. Other causes include abnormal looks of your cervix during a pelvic exam and positive HPV test results etc. Sometimes if you experience unexplained bleeding problems, your doctor might suggest you opt for the procedure.

Colposcopy allows your doctor to identify any abnormalities in your genital area clearly. It helps your doctor to collect tissue samples and fluid samples from the region as well. The doctor can easily distinguish between a normal looking vagina and a vagina with any abnormalities. The sole purpose of colposcopy is to determine what is causing the abnormal Pap test or an abnormal cervical region so that you get the proper treatment.

How is it done and what should be the preparations from your side?
Colposcopy is an extremely safe and hassle free diagnostic procedure. After lying on their back, one has to keep their legs spread as the doctor uses a speculum to keep your vagina open for her to examine. Next, the doctor uses a cotton swab dipped in a vinegar-like solution to clean the internals, which might give a slight burning sensation at first but helps the doctor to identify the abnormal cells and blood vessels accurately. After that, she uses the colposcope to have an illuminated and magnified look at your cervix and vulva.

There are a few things that you should follow from your side, like, do let the doctor know if you have heavy flow amidst your period days, not using any creams or gels before the procedure and avoiding sexual intercourse for the time being. It is also important to let your doctor know whether you are pregnant or not.

Results and after-effects of Colposcopy
The results of your colposcopy determine whether if you have dysplasia which is highly curable in the early stages, or if you have any sorts of genital tissue or blood vessel related infections or not, which your doctor looks into for treatment. If any occurrences like high fever, extended vaginal bleeding, a viscous and stinky vaginal discharge yellowish in color, severe lower abdominal pain, start appearing after your colposcopy report to your doctor as soon as possible.

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