What is colposcopy?

Colposcopy is an examination of the cervix (lower part of the uterus) and the wall of the vagina. It is performed using a special microscope, called a colposcope, that gives a magnified view of tissue lining the cervix and vagina.

Unlike a Pap test, which scrapes tissue from the entire cervix, colposcopy allows the examiner to take tissue samples (biopsies) from specific areas that do not look normal.

Do I need colposcopy?

Colposcopy is recommended for women who:

  • Have had abnormal Pap test results
  • Have mothers who took "DES" (a female hormone) during pregnancy
  • Have a history of abnormal cells on previous colposcopic exams