If an abnormal Pap smear occurs or the cervix has an abnormal appearance during a Pap test, a Colposcopy will be conducted. The purpose of the Colposcopy is to further examine the cervix, vulva and vaginal walls. During the first stage of the test the doctor will examine the vagina for any signs of vaginal warts. Vaginal warts are caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), which increases a women’s risk of cervical cancer. During the Colposcopy, tissue sampling of the cervix and further tests can be conducted.
A colposcope is a powerful magnification tool resembling a pair of binoculars. It can magnify the cervix up to sixteen times the actual size. The view port of the scope has color filters that enable the physician to detect abnormal cervical blood vessels. An acetic acid wash will be applied to the cervix to make any lesions or areas of concern noticeable to the doctor.
A Colposcopy tests for dysplasia or cervical cancer and is considered an out-patient procedure. Typically the only symptom of recovery is minor vaginal spotting after the procedure is conducted.
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