Doctors use colposcopy in Arizona to closely examine your cervix with a device called a colposcope, which magnifies the cervix so your doctor can directly see abnormal tissue. If your doctor sees any suspicious areas, he or she can take a biopsy, which can detect cervical cancer at an early – or even precancerous – stage.
Following are 7 things you should know about colposcopy.
1. Colposcopy is typically recommended after an abnormal pap.
If you have an abnormal Pap smear result, your doctor may recommend colposcopy if there was a problem with your pelvic exam. The results can help your doctor diagnose cervical conditions. In addition to cervical cancer, this includes precancerous changes to the cervix, genital warts, benign polyps, and inflammation of the cervix. It can also help find the cause of abnormal bleeding and pain.
2. A colposcopy in Arizona screens for abnormal cervical cells.
The goal of colposcopy is to perform a detailed examination of your cervix, which is the opening of the uterus. It helps your doctor decide if you need more tests or treatments. If your doctor finds an abnormal area, he or she can take a biopsy. Colposcopy is an important test because it can identify cervical cancer at an early stage.
3. A colposcopy is performed in the doctor’s office.
A colposcopy in Arizona is an office procedure that is similar to having a pelvic exam. Your doctor will insert a tool called a speculum into your vagina to hold it open and then position the colposcope close to the opening of your vagina in order to get a clear view of your cervix. Your doctor puts a solution on your cervix to help identify abnormal cells.
4. Colposcopy has very few risks.
There are very few risks with colposcopy in Arizona. Bleeding that needs treatment and infection can occur, but cases are rare. A colposcopy or biopsy should not affect your ability to have children, but you should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Your doctor may change how or when the procedure takes place. As with any test, there is a possibility of a false result, so be sure to follow-up with your doctor and complete all testing and appointments.
5. You may experience mild discomfort.
There can be mild discomfort with colposcopy in Arizona. Some women feel burning or stinging when the doctor applies a solution to the cervix. If the doctor takes a biopsy, you may feel pinching or cramping. Talk to your doctor beforehand about taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Also, remember to relax your pelvic muscles as much as possible and breathe slowly and deeply to calm yourself.
6. You may have mild bleeding from a biopsy.
If your doctor did not take a biopsy during your colposcopy, you should be able to return to activities right away. If you had a biopsy, your cervix will need to heal. This generally takes about a week. During this time, you may have some bleeding and you should not put anything in your vagina. This includes not using tampons, having sex, or douching during recovery.
7. Follow-up pap smears or treatment may be necessary.
After a colposcopy in Arizona, your doctor may determine that your cervix is normal. If your doctor takes a biopsy, you will get the results within a week or two. If your doctor finds abnormal cells, you may need a repeat Pap smear or other diagnostic tests. Sometimes, doctors remove all the abnormal cells during the biopsy itself. Other times, more treatment is necessary, such as a procedure to remove more cervical tissue.
If you are interested in a colposcopy in Arizona to ensure your cervical health, call our office today to schedule a consultation. During this visit we’ll determine if you are a likely candidate for the procedure.