A colposcopy is a special visual examination of the cervix. A colposcopy may be recommended based on certain pap smear results. The colposcopy allows a closer and more in depth examination of your cervical cells than a pap smear does.

During a colposcopy, your provider will look through an instrument called a “colposcope,” which is like a microscope mounted on a pole. It will help your provider look for areas of abnormal cervical cells on the cervix. During a colposcopy, a speculum is placed in the vagina to the hold vaginal walls open, like when having a Pap test done. Your provider will place a vinegar solution directly onto the cervix, which makes the any abnormal areas of cells turn a white color so they can be seen better. This solution can cause a mild stinging sensation for some people.  If abnormalities are seen, small biopsies will be taken, which are sent to the lab for examination and help you and your provider decide what the next steps are.

For minor or low-grade abnormalities, no treatment may be necessary and only follow-up Pap tests or HPV testing would be recommended. For more severe abnormalities, other treatment may be required, such as a LEEP procedure. During the colposcopy, you may experience cramping or pinching sensations. The most common side effects following the procedure are mild discomfort or cramping and spotting. The solution that is placed on the cervix to help reduce bleeding after the biopsies are taken can cause a “coffee ground” looking discharge from the vagina for a couple days, and this is normal. There are no serious risks with a colposcopy, which is a routine procedure.

Please call the front desk at (406) 587-0681 to schedule this procedure.