You have been diagnosed with an abnormal Pap smear. The Pap smear is a screening test, so a colposcopy has been recommended to look for dysplasia, which is precancer of the cervix. Dysplasia usually does not cause symptoms. Sometimes it causes bleeding during or after sexual intercourse. You may have a greater risk for dysplasia if:
- You have a high risk HPV infection (human papillomavirus).
- You have had more than 1 sex partner.
- Your sex partner has been sexually active with other partners.
- You had sexual intercourse before the age of 18.
- You smoke.
- You have a weakened immune system; for example, because you are taking immunosuppressive drugs, or you have AIDS.
WHAT IS A COLPOSCOPE?
The colposcope is an instrument that looks like a pair of binoculars mounted on a tripod, and is used to magnify the tissues of the cervix, vagina, or vulva. This enables the examiner to see minor changes in the color of these tissues and surface blood vessel patterns, which are not visible to the naked eye. It is these subtle differences, which help to distinguish healthy tissue from abnormal tissue. The colposcope is usually used to evaluate women with an abnormal Pap smear. The Pap smear is a screening test and looks at the characteristics of individual cells. The colposcope allows us to identify any microscopically abnormal areas to biopsy for more thorough tissue evaluation by a pathologist.
Click on the link below to learn more about Colposcopy and dysplasia.
Patient Education – click on the links below for important patient education & information:
The colposcopy is performed during a regular office visit. It is preferable to schedule this while you are not on your menses. We recommend that you take two ibuprofen or Aleve tablets prior to coming to the office…