MoonDragon's Women's Health Procedures Information
For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
Colposcopy is a microscopic examination of the cervix used to diagnose precancerous abnormalities. It examines your genitals, vagina and cervix closely using a colposcope (an instrument that shines a light on the cervix and magnifies the view for the health care provider.
REASONS FOR COLPOSCOPY PROCEDURE
This procedure is usually recommended following an abnormal Pap smear test and to select the best area for a biopsy, if needed.
A colposcopy is important because it can detect cancer of the cervix at an early stage. Be sure to consult with your health care provider after the test so that any problems are taken care of right away.
COLPOSCOPY RISK FACTORS
DESCRIPTION OF COLPOSCOPY PROCEDURE
Prior to the procedure, you may be more comfortable if you empty your bladder and bowels. Do not douche or use any vaginal medications or tampons, or have sexual intercourse during the 24 hours before you appointment.
The colposcope is a binocular microscope used to visualize the cervix.
You will recline on an examination table (as if for a pelvic examination). A speculum is inserted into the vagina to expose the cervix.
A stain or other chemical agent (such as acetic acid - a vinegar solution) may applied using a cotton swab or ball. It is to be used to help improve the visualization by making abnormal tissue turn white so your health care provider can identify areas that may need further evaluation.
The wheeled colposcope is positioned in front of the vaginal opening and the health care provider can locate the abnormalities, determine their extent and possibly identify the cause. Results of the visual examination are available immediately.
If your health care provider sees areas of abnormal tissue during the colposcopy, he/she may also perform a biopsy. This involves removing small samples of tissue from any abnormal areas in or around the cervix. A pathologist will examine these samples microscopically and send out a report with your results to your health care provider.
It usually only takes 20 to 30 minutes for your health care provider to complete a colposcopy and biopsy.
MoonDragon's Womens Health Procedures Information: Cervical Biopsy
COLPOSCOPY EXPECTED OUTCOME
The procedure should take about 15 minutes and in itself cause no discomfort. The instrument never enters the body. If a biopsy is done or endocervical curettage is performed, these procedures may cause some cramping or bleeding.
You may have a dark-colored vaginal discharge after the colposcopy. If your health care provider takes a biopsy sample, he/she will put a thick, brownish-yellow paste on that area to stop any bleeding. When this paste mixes with blood, it forms a thick black discharge. It is normal to have this discharge for a couple of days after the procedure. It is also normal to have a little spotting for at least two days after a colposcopy.
Do not use tampons or put anything in your vagina for at least one week after the procedure, or until your health care provider tells you it safe. Do not have sexual intercourse for at least 1 week.
It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for your health care provider to get a report from the pathologist who looks at your biopsy samples. Your health care provider's office will contact you when these results are available. You will need to make a follow-up appointment with your health care provider to talk about the results and any additional treatment you may need. Try to schedule an appointment no later than 1 month after your colposcopy.
COLPOSCOPY POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS
A biopsy may cause some bleeding and an infection.
COLPOSCOPY POST PROCEDURE CARE
You may bathe or shower as usual. See expected outcomes for more information. When you have a procedure performed, your health care provider will give you post procedure care instructions for your specific situation. Read and follow your instructions carefully.
Medication is usually not necessary following this procedure. You may want to take a mild pain killer medication and possibly an antibiotic if you have a cervical biopsy.
ACTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS & RESTRICTIONS
No restrictions indicated for this procedure. There are some restrictions if you have a cervical biopsy. See "expected outcome" for more information.
DIET & NUTRITION
No special diet. It is always recommended you follow a nutritional, well-balanced diet for a strong immune system and a healthy body.
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Adult Regular Diet
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information & Guidelines, Food Guide, Dietary Recommendations
NOTIFY YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
If you have unexplained vaginal bleeding or swelling develops after a biopsy or endocervical curettage. Heavy vaginal bleeding (usually more than one sanitary pad per hour) should be reported.
If you have any signs and symptoms of infection: fever, chills, body aches, headache, general ill feeling.
If you experience lower abdominal pain.
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