Mammograms Save Lives

Colposcopy Specialist

This article provides comprehensive information on colposcopies—a vital procedure in women’s healthcare. Learn why you might need a colposcopy, how to prepare for one, what happens during the procedure, and what to expect afterward. 

Taking control of your reproductive health is crucial, and Maiden Lane Medical—a premier gynecology practice in New York City—is here to support you. Visit our new walk-in clinic in Murray Hill, NY, for compassionate care and personalized treatment options.

Medium sized Maiden Lane Medical Logo
“My Doctor was knowledgeable, patient, and thorough. She answered all my questions and really put me at ease. Her laidback and friendly demeanor made it easy for me to talk to her. Needless to say I’ll be going back!”

What is a Colposcopy?

A colposcopy is a simple and important procedure typically performed by gynecologists (colposcopy GYN) to closely examine the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus, as well as inside the vagina. It’s usually recommended when there are concerns about abnormal cells found during cervical screening tests, like a Pap smear.

Why Do I Need a Colposcopy?

A gynecologist preparing a colposcope for her patient’s exam.

A colposcopy is often recommended when there are concerns about abnormal cervical cells detected during a cervical cancer screening, like a Pap smear. These screenings are crucial for catching any early signs of cervical cancer.

Abnormal cervical cells could indicate various things, including changes caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a common sexually transmitted infection linked to cervical cancer. 

How Can I Prepare for a Colposcopy?

Preparing for a colposcopy is usually straightforward. Here’s what you might need to do:

  • Schedule Wisely: Plan your colposcopy for a time when you’re not on your period, as it might interfere with the examination. Call our doctor’s office to schedule the appointment.
  • Avoid Certain Products: For at least 24 hours before your colposcopy, avoid using tampons, vaginal medications, creams, or douches. These can affect the results of the examination.
  • Inform Your Doctor: Let your doctor know about any medications you’re currently taking, especially if you’re on blood thinners or have any allergies. They might advise you to stop certain medications temporarily.
  • Relaxation Techniques: If you’re feeling anxious about the procedure, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or listening to calming music.
  • Comfortable Clothing: Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment. You’ll want to feel relaxed during the procedure.
  • Ask Questions: If you have any concerns or questions about the colposcopy, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor beforehand. Understanding what to expect can help ease any anxiety you might have.

What Happens During a Colposcopy Procedure?

During a colposcopy, which is typically performed by a gynecologist or a specially trained nurse, you’ll be asked to lie on an examination table, similar to a pelvic exam. The doctor will use a special instrument called a colposcope to closely look at your cervix. This instrument is like a magnifying glass with a light.

Before the colposcopy begins, the doctor may insert a speculum into your vagina, similar to during a pelvic exam, to help them see your cervix more clearly. The doctor may add a solution that can help better identify abnormal cells on your cervix. This does not hurt or cause pain.

Once the colposcopy starts, the doctor will carefully look at your cervix through the colposcope. They’re searching for any signs of abnormal tissue, such as unusual color or texture, or abnormal blood vessels. These could indicate changes in the cells that might be precancerous or indicate developing cervical cancer.

If the doctor sees any areas of concern, they may take a small sample of tissue (biopsy) from the abnormal area for further examination. This biopsy helps determine the nature of the abnormal tissues and whether they are normal or abnormal.

During the procedure, you might feel some pressure or discomfort, but it’s usually not painful. If you’re feeling nervous or uncomfortable, you can always communicate with the doctor or nurse present. They’re specially trained to help you feel as comfortable as possible during the colposcopy.

Have more questions?
Chat with us online! Use our webchat in the lower right hand of your screen

What to Expect After a Colposcopy Procedure

After a colposcopy procedure, it’s normal to experience some mild side effects, but they typically go away quickly. Here’s what you might expect:

  • Spotting or Light Bleeding: It’s common to have some spotting or light bleeding after a colposcopy, especially if a biopsy was taken. This usually resolves within a few days.
  • Cramping: You might experience mild cramping, similar to menstrual cramps, for a short time after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help alleviate any discomfort.
  • Dark Discharge: You may notice some dark discharge, which can be due to the solutions used during the colposcopy. This discharge should gradually lessen and disappear within a few days.
A gynecologist explaining the colposcopy procedure with a patient.

If you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain, fever, or any other concerning symptoms after your colposcopy, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Otherwise, the discomfort and side effects should gradually improve, and you can expect to return to your usual routine soon after the procedure.

How Will I Get My Results From the Colposcopy?

After your colposcopy, your healthcare provider will discuss the results with you. This typically happens during a follow-up appointment, which may be scheduled a week or two after the procedure. During this appointment, your doctor will explain what they found during the colposcopy and whether any further steps are needed.

If a biopsy was taken during the colposcopy, the results may take a bit longer to come back from the lab. Your doctor will inform you of when to expect these results and how they will be communicated to you. Depending on the findings, you may need additional tests or treatments.

It’s important to attend all follow-up appointments and adhere to any recommendations from your healthcare provider, especially if abnormalities were detected during the colposcopy. Regular cervical screening and timely follow-up are key to maintaining your reproductive health and catching any potential issues early.

Take Control of Your Reproductive Health Today with Maiden Lane Medical 

Colposcopies are essential tools in the early detection and prevention of cervical cancer. By undergoing this simple procedure, you’re taking proactive steps to safeguard your well-being. 

If you’re due for a colposcopy or simply want to prioritize your reproductive health, schedule an appointment with Maiden Lane Medical, a leading gynecology practice in New York City. Also, feel free to visit our walk-in clinic in Murray Hill, NY, and let our expert team provide you with compassionate care and personalized treatment options. Your health matters—take charge of it today!

Medically Reviewed By

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Don't know which doctor to choose? Let us help you.

Medium sized Maiden Lane Medical Logo
“My Doctor was knowledgeable, patient, and thorough. She answered all my questions and really put me at ease. Her laidback and friendly demeanor made it easy for me to talk to her. Needless to say I’ll be going back!”
If you’re concerned about fibroids or have symptoms that could be caused by these benign growths, call our office or schedule a consultation online for accurate diagnosis and personalized state-of-the-art treatment.

Our doctors who provide this service

Thumbnail Photo of Dr. Rachel Barr

Rachel Barr, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Emily Blanton, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Focused Practice Designation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery
Profile Photo of Dr. Janette Davison

Janette Davison, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Focused Practice Designation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Armina Eana, DO MPH

Board Certified OB/GYN

Ilene Fischer, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist
Profile Photo fo Dr. Dena Harris

Dena Harris, MD

Board Certified Gynecologist

Kenneth A. Levey, MD MPH FACOG FACS

Board Certified Gynecologist & CEO and Managing Partner of Maiden Lane Medical

Focused Practice Designation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Fernando Mariz, MD

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Jordan Pavia, NP

Women's Health Nurse Practitioner

Savita Sukha, WHNP

Women's Health Nurse Practitioner

Colposcopies at Walk-in Gynecology & Women's Care

Maiden Lane Medical is pleased to offer colposcopy services at our Walk-in Gynecology & Women’s Care clinic in Murray Hill, NY. Our expert gynecologists provide comprehensive care, including colposcopies, to help you maintain your reproductive health. Visit us today for prompt, personalized service in a convenient location!