This procedure, which takes about ten to fifteen minutes to perform, is a visual examination of the cervix with a microscopic viewing device called a colposcope. It may be performed in conjunction with a biopsy or other procedure.


In preparation for the procedure, the patient is positioned on the examination table and a speculum is inserted into the vagina to expose the cervix. The colposcope is positioned just outside the entrance of the vagina, giving the physician an illuminated, magnified view of the cervix.

Viewing the Cervix

The physician carefully examines the cervical tissue for suspicious cells, and may choose to rinse the cervix with a vinegar or iodine solution to make abnormal cells easier to identify. If abnormal tissue is found, the physician may choose to take a biopsy so these cells can be examined more closely in the lab.

End of Procedure

When the procedure is complete, the speculum is removed and the patient is allowed to go home. The physician will provide aftercare instructions and, if a biopsy was taken, will follow up with lab results.