A colposcopy is a procedure in which a special magnifying instrument called a colposcope is used to examine your cervix, vagina and vulva. This usually takes place after your doctor finds abnormal results in your pap smear or pelvic exam, and can be used to diagnose:
- Cervical cancer
- Genital warts
- Inflammation of the cervix
- Precancerous changes in the tissue of the cervix
- Precancerous changes in the vulva or tissues of the vagina
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
How does it work?
A metal speculum is inserted in your vagina, to help the doctor see your cervix. The colposcope is then placed near your vulva, and a bright light is shone into your vagina, which the doctor examines through the lens. Your doctor may apply a solution of vinegar to the area, which helps highlight any areas of suspicious cells. If any suspicious areas are found, a biopsy will be collected. The level of pain/discomfort of the biopsy depends on the type of tissue being removed:
- Cervical biopsy- is not painful, although it may cause mild discomfort or cramping
- Vaginal biopsy- is not usually painful, unless the biopsy is of the lower portion of the vagina/vulva, in which case a local anesthetic may be used to numb the area.
How long does the exam last?
The procedure generally takes between 10 and 20 minutes, and patients are asked to lie on their backs with their feet in supports.
Check out our specialist doctor’s profile
Dr. Tahira Sadigova
Specialist in Obstetric Gynaecology
With her gentle manner and expert knowledge on all aspects of Obstetrics and Gynecology, it is little wonder that Dr Tahira is in great demand among the UAE’s female population. Dr Tahira has worked in many countries including Uzbekistan, Russia and Germany before she relocated to the UAE. Dr.Tahira speaks several languages English, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, Uzbekistani, Kazakhstani, Kirgizstan and Turkestan.Read more