If your pap smear is abnormal, your provider may order a colposcopy, a procedure that utilizes a colposcope, an instrument with a magnifying lens and light, to examine the cervix and vagina. The colposcope allows the clinician to see the tissues more clearly. Your provider may take a small sample of tissue (a cervical biopsy) for further examination in the lab.
Colposcopies are used to diagnose and assist in the treatment of bleeding, polyps and genital warts, among other conditions.
There may be other reasons your provider has recommended colposcopy. She will explain the procedure to you, and answer any questions you may have.