Every woman needs to undergo a PAP smear test on a regular basis after the achievement of 30 years of age. Pap smear is done for cervical cancer screening. If the PAP smear result is abnormal, the doctor recommends a colposcopy test.
Colposcopy is carried out for the examination of the cervix, vagina, and vulva for signs of the disease. Colposcopy is performed using an instrument called Colposcope.
It is used for the diagnosis of:
- Genital warts
- Inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis)
- Precancerous changes in the cervical tissue
- Precancerous changes in the vaginal tissue
- Precancerous changes of the vulva
The colposcope is placed a few inches from the vulva and then a bright light is focussed on the vagina. Using the binocular lens placed on the colposcope, the examination of the vagina is done.
After cleaning the mucus present over the cervix and the vagina, the vinegar solution is applied over them. After application of the vinegar, the patient may experience a burning or tingling sensation. The suspicious cells are highlighted.
If no suspicious cells are identified, then the patient is asked to get a repeat colposcopy after a specific time period.
But if suspicious cells are identified, then a biopsy can be taken from the suspicious area and sent for histopathological examination.
If no biopsy is taken, then the patient can perform routine activities without any restrictions. But may experience bleeding (spotting or mild) for a period of one to two days post colposcopy, which is normal.
In case the biopsy is taken, the patient may experience pain in the vaginal or vulvar region for at least 2 days, associated with light bleeding, which may be seen for a few days. Some patients may experience dark discharge from the vagina.