Colposcopy is a procedure to closely examine your cervix, vagina and vulva for signs of disease. During colposcopy, your doctor uses a special instrument called a colposcope. Your doctor may recommend colposcopy if your Pap test has shown abnormal results. If your doctor finds an unusual area of cells during colposcopy, a sample of tissue can be collected for laboratory testing (biopsy). Many women experience anxiety before their colposcopy exams. Knowing what to expect during your colposcopy may help you feel more comfortable.

Your doctor may recommend colposcopy if a Pap test or pelvic exam revealed abnormalities.
Colposcopy can be used to diagnose:

  • Cervical cancer
  • Genital warts
  • Inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis)
  • Precancerous changes in the tissue of the cervix
  • Precancerous changes in the tissue of the vagina
  • Precancerous changes of the vulva
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Vulvar cancer