An abnormal cervical cancer screening may require further follow up if it is due to bacterial infection or abnormal changes to the integrity of the cervical cells (cervical dysplasia). Your doctor will inform you if you need a closer look at your cervix. This is done by a procedure called Colposcopy.
Colposcopy involves taking a closer look at the cervix with a magnifying glass. You will be in a similar position you were when your pap was collected. A Speculum will be placed in the vaginal canal to allow your cervix to b visible. Acetic acid (low potency Vinegar solution) will be applied to your cervix. This will allow your doctor to see where the abnormal cells are. Samples will be taken from surface and inside of your cervix and sent to pathology. You may notice slight cramping during the procedure. This can be reduced significantly by taking Tylenol 1000 mg or Ibuprofen 600 mg, Tylenol or some other over the counter medication before your appointment.
You may notice light bleeding or spotting, cramping or pink discharge for a few days. It is recommended that you refrain from sexual activity 1-2 weeks after the procedure to prevent infection. The results of your biopsies will be available in 7- 14 days. Further work up and follow up needed will depend on the results of the pathology.
Depending on your biopsy result, your doctor may recommend close follow up, follow up in 1 year or your doctor may recommend Cryotherapy or LEEP. These procedures are used to remove abnormal cells from the cervix. You may not need an office appointment to follow up. If your results from the colposcopy are manageable with follow up in 1 year, you can schedule a telephone appointment or virtual visit to discuss the results.
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