What is a Colposcopy?

A colposcopy is a procedure done to examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva to detect disease. This test is usually performed if your Pap smear test results are abnormal, your cervix appears abnormal during a pelvic exam, you are experiencing unexplained bleeding, or you have human papillomavirus (HPV).

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Colposcopy can be used to diagnose the following:

  • Inflammation of the cervix.
  • Genital warts.
  • Precancerous changes in the tissues of the cervix, vagina, or vulva.

The Colposcopy Procedure

Prior to this test, your doctor may recommend that you take the following steps to prepare:

  • Avoid scheduling your test during your period.
  • Do not use tampons in the days leading up to a colposcopy.
  • Avoid vaginal intercourse before your test.
  • Avoid the use of vaginal medications for two days before your exam.

This exam is similar to a Pap smear, with the main difference being that Dr. Tepper uses a special magnifying tool called a colposcope. To begin the test, you will lie on your back on the exam table, and your feet will be placed in stirrups. A tool called a speculum will then be placed into your vagina to make the cervix more visible. The colposcope instrument will then be positioned along with a bright light for improved visualization of the cervix. This area will be swabbed, and a vinegar solution may be applied to the area to highlight any suspicious-looking cells. If an area appears suspicious, Dr. Tepper may take a biopsy or a small sample of tissue which will be sent to a lab for review. Overall, this test typically takes 5-10 minutes to complete.


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Colposcopy Results

After your colposcopy, you won’t have any restrictions regarding activity. However, you may experience some vaginal or vulvar discomfort for the next couple of days, light bleeding, or a dark-colored discharge. It is also advised that you avoid the use of tampons and vaginal intercourse for the week following your test. Dr. Tepper will contact you to go over your test results and determine if any further testing is needed.


Whether you are a new or returning patient, Dr. Tepper can assess your concerns and discuss your options to find the most comfortable and convenient care for you. To get started, call our office to set up an appointment.


Contact Us to Learn More

For more information regarding the colposcopy test and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tepper, contact our New York office today. Our friendly staff will be happy to assist you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you awake for a colposcopy?


Can a colposcopy detect cancer?

The purpose of colposcopy is to evaluate vaginal health and screen for precancerous and cancerous conditions.

Can I go back to work after a colposcopy?

100 % but if you need to take the day off, our office can assist your needs.

Can I lift weights after colposcopy?


Can I shower before a colposcopy?


Can you eat or drink before a colposcopy?


Can you fly after colposcopy?


Can you go in a hot tub after a colposcopy?

It is best to wait a few days before going in a hot tub. We often use a chemical compound that can lead to a heavy brown discharge.

Can you have colposcopy on period?

It is better to wait so that the menses does not affect the visualization of the transformation zone.

Does a colposcopy get rid of HPV?

No -it is looking for changes that are most often HPV mediated.

How long does a colposcopy appointment take?

20 minutes on average.

How many biopsies are taken during a colposcopy?

It depends on what is actually seen during the colposcopy.

What happens if a colposcopy is abnormal?

It really depends on what is found-sometimes we just follow up with a repeat pap and sometimes we need to perform surgical procedures.

What is a colposcopy looking for?

Abnormal cells and lesions on the cervix which can be a sign of precancerous cells.

What to expect after a colposcopy?

Mild cramping and a brown discharge are very common after a colposcopy.

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