Being told you have an abnormal Pap smear can send your mind in a million directions. Do I have cancer? Will I lose my hair? Who will take care of my family?
Though an abnormal Pap smear means something is amiss, it doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer.
At Eve Medical of Miami, our team of women’s health experts specializes in managing all of your gynecology needs. When your Pap smear results come back positive, we have you come in for a colposcopy.
Here, we want to let you know what you can expect during this minimally invasive diagnostic procedure.
What is a colposcopy?
If you’ve never had an abnormal Pap smear, you may not be familiar with the colposcopy. This in-office procedure allows us to more closely examine your cervical tissue to look for signs of abnormalities.
During the procedure, we use a tool called a colposcope, which is a lighted microscope that we place outside your vaginal opening. The colposcope magnifies your cervical tissue so we can take a better look at what’s going on.
Preparing for your colposcopy
When scheduling your colposcopy, we recommend you avoid making your appointment around the time you have your period. We also request you refrain from vaginal intercourse, use of tampons, and use of vaginal treatments at least two days prior to your scheduled test.
On the day of your appointment, we recommend you take an over-the-counter pain reliever before you come in. This might help ease any discomfort following your colposcopy.
What to expect
Our in-office colposcopy takes about 30 minutes. During the procedure, you lie on the exam table with your knees bent and legs apart, similar to what you’d expect during your pelvic exam.
We place a speculum in your vagina that separates the walls and allows us to see your cervix. We place the colposcope outside your vagina and examine your cervix. After the initial exam, we apply a special solution to your cervical tissue that highlights areas of abnormal tissue.
You may feel a slight burning sensation during this part of your colposcopy. We take another look at your cervix with the colposcopy and take a biopsy of any areas highlighted by the solution.
After your colposcopy
How you feel after your colposcopy depends on whether you had a biopsy or not.
If you had a colposcopy without a biopsy, you can go back to your usual activities without any restrictions. You may have some spotting or bleeding for a day or two following the test.
If you had a biopsy, we may recommend you take it easy the rest of the day. You can also expect pain and bleeding for a few days. Instead of tampons, we recommend you use sanitary pads for the bleeding so your tissue can heal.
We send the tissue sample to the lab for an evaluation. We contact you as soon as we have your results and spend time talking to you about the next steps.
Regular Pap smears save lives. Cervical cancer is a slow-growing cancer that’s highly curable when found early. Your colposcopy gives us more information about your Pap smear so we can provide the care you need.
Your health is important to use. Whether it’s time for your well-woman exam or you need a Pap smear, we can help. Call our office in Miami, Florida, or request an appointment online today.