Nearly 50% of women with cervical cancer are diagnosed at an early stage. Moreover, women with invasive cervical cancer who had it detected at an early stage have a five-year survival rate of over 90%. One of the reasons for the high survival rate is the colposcopy. If you’ve had atypical Pap test results and need additional testing, call or make an appointment online today at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
When you see your doctor at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare for a colposcopy, he or she examines your cervix, vagina, and vulva using an instrument called a colposcope. A colposcope is a microscope with a bright light that enlarges the usual view of your tissues.
If your doctor finds any abnormal areas during your colposcopy, he or she takes a sample and sends it to a lab for examination.
The doctors at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare recommend a colposcopy when problems or abnormal cells appear during either your pelvic exam or your Pap test. A colposcope allows your doctor to see changes in your cervical and vaginal tissues, including abnormal blood vessels, tissue structures, colors, and patterns. Colposcopy is also recommended to diagnose:
Repeat colposcopies allow your doctor to check treatment results.
You prepare for a colposcopy at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare the same way you do for a routine pelvic exam. You undress from the waist down and lie on a table with your feet in stirrups.
To see your cervix better, your doctor places an instrument called a speculum into your vagina and then gently swabs the area with either a vinegar or iodine solution to remove the mucus and highlight any abnormal areas. This solution spotlights abnormal tissues by turning them white.
Your doctor then places the colposcope at the opening of your vagina and examines the area. If anything looks abnormal, your doctor numbs the area and removes a small sample of the tissue. You feel a slight pinching or cramping as the sample is removed and sent to a lab for testing.
Your doctor then applies a solution to help control bleeding. This mixture often causes a dark discharge, similar to coffee grounds, for several days after your procedure.
After your colposcopy, some bleeding and mild cramping occur for up to a week, and your vagina may be sore. It’s best to avoid tampons, douches, vaginal creams, and vaginal intercourse for a week, especially if you had tissue removed.
If recent test results are cause for concern, find out if you need a colposcopy, call or make an appointment online today at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.