DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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Colposcopy (kol-POS-kuh-pee) is a procedure to closely examine your cervix, vagina and vulva for signs of disease. During colposcopy, your doctor uses a special instrument called a colposcope.
Your doctor may recommend colposcopy if your Pap test has shown abnormal results. If your doctor finds an unusual area of cells during colposcopy, a sample of tissue can be collected for laboratory testing (biopsy).
Many women experience anxiety before their colposcopy exams. Knowing what to expect during your colposcopy may help you feel more comfortable.
- Colposcopy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp135.cfm. Accessed March 11, 2011.
- Colposcopy. American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. http://www.asccp.org/Portals/9/docs/pdfs/Patient_Education/Colposcopy.pdf. Accessed March 11, 2011.
- Gagne HM. Colposcopy of the vagina and vulva. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. 2008;35:659.
- Noller KL. Intraepithelial neoplasia of the lower genital tract (cervix, vulva): Etiology, screening diagnostic techniques, management. In: Katz VL, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1524/0.html. Accessed March 11, 2011.
- Galaal K, et al. Interventions for reducing anxiety in women undergoing colposcopy (review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2007:CD006013. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews. Accessed March 11, 2011.