When the gynecologist calls with an abnormal Pap smear result, this can be a very frightening time in a woman’s life. Although you might think an abnormal Pap smear means you have cervical cancer, the fact is that the majority of abnormal Pap smears are not caused by cervical cancer. The more likely cause of an abnormal Pap smear is inflammation or a vaginal infection.
Because the Pap smear is a screening tool and not a diagnostic tool, we may want to look at your cervix to determine the cause of your abnormal Pap smear results. We will perform an examination called a colposcopy. We may order this procedure if you have Pap smear results that:
- Genital warts on the cervix
- Cervicitis (an inflamed cervix)
- Benign (not cancer) growths, such as polyps
We may also order a colposcopy if your cervix appears abnormal during your pelvic exam and Pap smear or if you have a history of prenatal DES exposure. A colposcopy is a simple and painless procedure performed in our office that takes 10 to 15 minutes. You are positioned on the examination table like you are for a Pap smear, and acetic acid (such as regular table vinegar) is placed on the cervix. This causes the cervical cells to fill with water, so the light will not pass through them. We will use a colposcope to view your cervix. A colposcope is a large, electric microscope positioned approximately 30 cm from the vagina. A bright light on the end of the colposcope lets us see the cervix.
During the colposcopy, we focus on the cervix areas where light does not pass through. Abnormal cervical changes are seen as white areas — the whiter the site, the worse the cervical dysplasia. Strange vascular (blood vessel) changes are also apparent through the colposcope. Typically, the worse the vascular changes are, the worse the dysplasia.
If you have been told you need a colposcopy, call us. Our staff is well-trained and experienced in colposcopies, and we’re here to help.
Celebration Obstetrics & Gynecology
Call Toll Free: (877) 800-0239
TWO LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU!
410 Celebration Place Suite 208
Celebration, FL 34747
2209 North Blvd, Ste. C
Davenport, FL 33837