Dr. Poppen performs colposcopies right in our office’s procedure rooms. Just like during your routine pelvic exams, you’ll lie on an exam table during the colposcopy. The entire procedure generally takes about 15 minutes.
During the colposcopy, Dr. Poppen uses a medical device known as a colposcope to look closely at your cervix, vulva, and vagina. The colposcope contains a bright light and a magnifying tool that allows us to examine changes in vaginal or cervical tissue and identify abnormal cells.
At the beginning of the colposcopy, we’ll brush your cervix with a vinegar-like solution known as acetic acid. This solution causes abnormal cells to turn white. Next, we’ll use a filter that shines colored light onto your tissue. This can highlight changes in blood vessels that may develop as a result of precancerous changes in your tissue.
If needed, Dr. Poppen will take small tissue samples, known as biopsies, during your colposcopy. These tissues will be analyzed under a microscope to better understand their function.
The overall procedure is similar to a Pap smear. Some people feel mildly uncomfortable during the process and may experience some minor spotting for a day or two afterward.
Once Dr. Poppen has more information about your cells, you’ll receive a recommendation about whether you need further care. You may require no treatment at all, as the abnormal cells may resolve on their own. We will let you know if follow-up exams or procedures are suggested.