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Colposcopy

Physicians for Women - Melius, Schurr & Cardwell -  - Obstetrician & Gynecologist

Physicians for Women - Melius, Schurr & Cardwell

Obstetricians & Gynecologists & Primary Care Physicians located in Madison, WI

Colposcopy is an office procedure that looks closely at your cervix for signs of dysplasia and typically is recommended after having an abnormal pap smear. The doctors at Physicians for Women in Madison, WI use the colposcope (essentially a magnifying lens) to look closely at your cervix and determine any abnormalities that warrant biopsy. Patients typically tolerate the procedure very well and with minimal discomfort. Results and treatment plans are discussed in detail with patients. Contact the office today or request an appointment online.

Colposcopy Q & A

What is colposcopy?

Colposcopy is a relatively straightforward procedure that allows your gynecologist to closely examine the tissues of your cervix, vagina, and vulva. It enables a magnified view of these areas without any form of incision or cutting. 

The instrument used to perform colposcopy is called a colposcope and delivers a magnified view of targeted tissues. A light helps improve visibility, and your doctor is able to maneuver the colposcope to check for signs of disease carefully. 

If an area of concern is discovered, a small sample of cells called a biopsy can be taken and sent to pathology for microscopic evaluation. 

 

What kinds of conditions can colposcopy detect?

Colposcopy is an incredibly versatile diagnostic tool and is commonly performed by one of our board-certified gynecologists at Physicians for Women. Some of the conditions colposcopy can detect include:

  • Cervicitis, or inflammation of the cervix
  • Precancerous tissue changes in your cervix, vagina, or vulva, sometimes called dysplasia 
  • Genital warts or HPV (human papillomavirus) infection  

A colposcopy is commonly recommended after an abnormal Pap smear result, or when screening reveals a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

 

What happens during a colposcopy?

A colposcopy is a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require any form of anesthesia. You’ll recline on an exam table or chair in a private treatment room with your feet resting in supports. This is similar to the procedure for a pelvic exam.

A device called a speculum gently separates your vaginal walls and holds them in place during the procedure. Your doctor may gently apply a special solution to your cervix and vaginal tissues to help identify abnormal cells. 

The procedure is not painful and does not take long to complete. Afterward, you’ll have time to discuss the results and whether additional screening is called for. We ensure you understand the pros and cons of various diagnostic options before moving forward, and you are encouraged to ask questions and express concerns as they arise. 

If you need a colposcopy, call the office today to set up a visit. Alternatively, online scheduling is also available. You’ll work with either Dr. Melius, Schurr or Cardwell who can guide you through the process and put your mind at ease about what comes next.