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A special magnifying device with a light, called a colposcope, is used to visually examine the cervix and vagina.
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Colposcopy is usually done when a:
- Pap test is abnormal
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) test is positive for certain subtypes (These subtypes place you at an increased risk for developing cancer.)
This procedure can be used to:
- Help diagnose cervical cancer or precancerous changes
- Give more information about abnormal cells found on a pap smear
- Find the location where a tissue biopsy should be done
- Monitor treatment of cervix abnormalities
- Allow a visual inspection of the cervix, vaginal walls, or vulva
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have colposcopy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Heavy bleeding
- Fever, chills
- Severe pain
- Bad-smelling vaginal discharge
In case of an emergency, CALL 911.