A colposcopy is a powerful extended screening tool that is needed if you have certain abnormalities of your Pap smear which is a basic screening for your risk of cervical cancer. It will help to further evaluate your risk and can protect your long term health. Valentine C. Ugwu, MD, FACOG, MBA, offers colposcopy as part of his comprehensive gynecology services and uses the tool to help women from in and around Pearsall, Texas keep healthy. When faced with a potential problem, a colposcopy provides the information needed to determine the next steps in treatment. To learn more, please schedule an appointment online or contact the office.
A colposcopy is a screening method that uses an instrument called a colposcope to examine your vagina, vulva, and cervix. Most gynecologists order a colposcopy if your Pap results show unusual cell activity.
A colposcopy uses a bright light and a microscope to allow Dr. Ugwu to see your cervix and surrounding tissues more closely. If he notes the presence of abnormalities, he can perform a biopsy to gather additional information.
A colposcopy is nothing to fear. The process is quick, and while it may be uncomfortable, it is not a painful experience.
If your Pap smear results show cell abnormalities, a colposcopy is usually the next screening step. However, a colposcopy can also be a powerful diagnostic tool for certain other conditions, including:
If the results of your colposcopy show abnormalities, the information gained during the screening will help you and your doctor make decisions about the best possible treatment path.
Dr. Ugwu will explain the procedure to you in detail before beginning. You should schedule your colposcopy for a date when you are not menstruating, and it is important to avoid sexual intercourse or the use of a douche or tampons in the 48 hours before your appointment.
When it’s time for the test, you will lie back on the exam table with your feet in stirrups, the same position used for your pelvic exam. Dr. Ugwu gently inserts a speculum which opens the walls of your vagina to improve access to your cervix.
The colposcope is placed a few inches away from your body and does not contact you during the screening. It allows Dr. Ugwu to gain a magnified view of your cervix and other tissues.
If a biopsy is needed, Dr. Ugwu removes a small portion of tissue using the magnification and light as guidance. If needed, a special solution is applied to control bleeding after a biopsy.
Even if multiple biopsies are required, the process is minimally uncomfortable. Many women have no sensation at all during the procedure, while others report mild pressure or cramping.