Colposcopy is the direct magnified inspection of the surface of a woman’s genital area, including the cervix, vagina, and vulva, using a light source and a binocular microscope. Doctors use the test to evaluate potentially cancerous areas, typically after a Pap smear has indicated the possibility of such a problem. Your doctor also may perform a biopsy (take a sample) of an abnormal area during the procedure.
Colposcopy also can be used to detect inflammatory or infectious changes, harmless or cancerous growths, and traumatic injuries to the cervix, vagina, and vulva. Because the procedure is highly specialized, you should make sure that your doctor has performed many such examinations.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2014
Diamond Vrocher III, MD
Mark J Lowell, MD
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Steven L Bernstein, MD
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