A colposcopy is a procedure similar to a vaginal exam. The doctor will use a vinegar solution to swab the cervix. Using special glasses he or she can view any abnormalities. If needed, they may take a sample of tissue, otherwise known as a biopsy, for testing.

How do I prepare for a colposcopy exam?

Plan to have the exam when you are not having a menstrual period. These exams are not done during a period. Also, do not douche or have sexual intercourse within 24 hours of the exam.

Because the cervix has little pain sensation, you will not need an anesthetic. Your provider will insert a speculum into your vagina. This is the same tool used during a Pap test. Your provider will do a Pap test and then use a swab to put the weak vinegar solution on your cervix or vagina. The solution will turn abnormal tissue white and show where a sample of tissue should be taken.