Display Mode:

    Main content

    Health Information



    Colposcopy is a test to look at the vagina and cervix through a lighted magnifying tool (colposcope).

    The colposcope magnifies the view 2 to 60 times so the doctor can see any problems that would be missed by the naked eye. A camera can be hooked to the colposcope to take pictures or videos of the vagina and cervix for a permanent record.

    The doctor may put vinegar (acetic acid) and sometimes iodine (Lugol's solution) on the vagina and cervix with a swab or cotton balls to see areas of abnormal cells more clearly. Samples of the abnormal cells (biopsies) can be collected and looked at under a microscope.

    Current as of: June 30, 2016

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kevin C. Kiley, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

    © 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.