Colposcopy in Scottsdale offers an enlarged view of your cervix. Doctors use it to closely examine your cervix with a device called a colposcope. The colposcope magnifies the cervix so your doctor can see abnormal tissue up close. If your doctor sees any suspicious areas, he or she can perform a biopsy, which can detect cervical cancer at an early – or precancerous – stage.
Following are some things you should know if your doctor recommends a colposcopy for you.
1. Colposcopy is typically recommended following an abnormal pap. If your Pap smear is abnormal, your doctor may suggest a colposcopy. It may also be recommended if there was a problem with your pelvic exam or you have a positive HPV test. This means you have a high-risk strain of the human papillomavirus, which is responsible for nearly all instances of cervical cancer.
2. The procedure is performed in the doctor’s office. A colposcopy in Scottsdale is an in-office procedure similar to a pelvic exam. Your doctor will insert a tool into your vagina to hold it open and position the colposcope close to the opening of your vagina in order to clearly see your cervix. A solution on your cervix will help identify abnormal cells.
3. A colposcopy screens for irregular cervical cells. The goal is to perform a detailed examination of your cervix. It helps determine if you need more tests or treatments. If your doctor identifies an abnormal area, he or she can take a biopsy. Colposcopy is an important test because it can identify cervical cancer at an early stage.
4. The procedure carries few risks. There are limited risks with colposcopy in Scottsdale. Bleeding that needs treatment and infection can occur, but it is quite rare. A colposcopy or biopsy should not have an effect your ability to have children, but you should let your doctor know if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. As with any test, there is a possibility of a false result, so be sure to follow-up with your doctor and complete all tests and appointments.
5. You may experience mild discomfort with colposcopy in Scottsdale. Some women experience burning or stinging when the doctor applies the solution to the cervix. If the doctor performs a biopsy, you may feel pinching or cramping. Talk to your doctor before the procedure about taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Also, remember to relax your pelvic muscles as much as possible and breathe slowly and deeply to calm yourself.
6. You may have mild bleeding following a biopsy. If your doctor did not perform a biopsy during your colposcopy, you should be able to return to activities immediately. If you had a biopsy, your cervix will need to heal; this usually takes about a week. During this time, you may experience some bleeding and you should not put anything in your vagina, including inserting tampons, having sex, or douching.
7. Follow-up pap smears or treatment may be needed. After a colposcopy in Scottsdale, your doctor may conclude that your cervix is normal. If a biopsy is taken, you should get the results within a week or two. If abnormal cells are discovered, you may need a repeat Pap smear or other diagnostic tests. In some cases, doctors remove all the abnormal cells during the biopsy while in others, more treatment is required, such as a procedure to remove more cervical tissue.
So when did you have your last Pap smear? Don’t risk your health – call our office today to schedule an appointment – our caring staff is here to put you at ease. And if you want or need more information regarding colposcopy in Scottsdale, please don’t hesitate to ask.