How a Non-Invasive Colposcopy Can Help You

Colposcopy, Metropolitan Women’s Center

An early diagnosis of issues affecting your cervix and reproductive organs greatly improves your chances of treating them without major health repercussions. If we suggest you have a colposcopy, it may raise your alarm bells, but know this non-invasive test is simple to undergo and best for your health.

Read on to learn more about colposcopies, why we perform them at Metropolitan Women’s Center, and how to squelch your anxieties about the procedure.

What happens during a colposcopy

When you go in for a colposcopy, Dr. Gigi Hafizi is simply taking a closer look at your cervix and vaginal area to see what may be causing bleeding or an irregular Pap smear. During the procedure, you lie on an exam table and Dr. Hafizi inserts a speculum to hold the walls of your vagina open — much like during your annual exam.

She shines a light into the opening and swabs the area with a vinegar solution that causes any abnormal cells to stand out. She then inserts an instrument known as a colposcope into your vagina. The colposcope simply magnifies her view of the area.

Ease your fears

A colposcopy doesn’t hurt but may be slightly uncomfortable, as it affects an intimate area. The initial insertion of a speculum can be feel slightly awkward. The whole tests lasts just about 10-20 minutes, so it’s over relatively quickly. Know that the colposcopy offers important information to Dr. Hafizi and that it should not be a test that you skip.

If you have concerns about the exam, make an appointment with Dr. Hafizi to discuss the procedure. Write down any questions you have so she can answer them and ease your anxieties.

Colposcopy is a safe procedure and rarely causes any side effects. Sometimes you may have mild soreness or spotting following a colposcopy, but these issues resolve relatively quickly. Usually, you can go back to your daily activities following a colposcopy, but if you have a biopsy, you may have mild restrictions on activity for a few days.

Inform your diagnosis and treatment

A colposcopy offers information about a number of different issues that could affect your reproductive and gynecological health. These include a diagnosis of genital warts, human papillomavirus (HPV), an inflammation of the cervix known as cervicitis, and precancerous changes in your vagina, cervix, and vulva.

During a colposcopy, Dr. Hafizi may find abnormal looking tissue and take a sample, or biopsy, for further analysis at a lab. Oftentimes, she can remove all abnormal looking tissue during the colposcopy, and your treatment is complete.

The lab results can inform her if you need further treatment to remove abnormal cells. Such procedures might be a cone biopsy, in which a cone-shaped piece of tissue is cut from your cervix to remove precancerous cells, or a LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure), during which abnormal cells are removed with a wire emitting an electrical current.

Dr. Hafizi wants to optimize the gynecological health of women living in the Annandale area. A colposcopy is a tool that can help her do this. Don’t let abnormal Pap smear results go uninvestigated.

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