A colposcopy is a special way of looking at the cervix. It uses a light and a low-powered microscope to make the cervix appear much larger. This helps your health care provider find and then biopsy abnormal areas in your cervix.
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How the Test is Performed
You will lie on a table and place your feet in stirrups, just like you would do for a pelvic exam. The provider will place an instrument (called a speculum) into your vagina. This allows your provider to better see the cervix.
The cervix and vagina are gently swabbed with a vinegar or iodine solution. This removes the mucus that covers the surface and highlights abnormal areas.
The provider will place the colposcope at the opening of the vagina and examine the area. Photographs may be taken. The colposcope does not touch you.
If any areas look abnormal, a small sample of the tissue will be removed using small biopsy tools. Many samples may be taken. Sometimes a tissue sample from inside the cervix is removed. This is called endocervical curettage (ECC).