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Test and Treatment: Colposcopy

A colposcope is a binocular viewing instrument used to magnify the cervix for examination. Colposcopy is often performed after an abnormal cervical smear test to look for signs of CIN. During the procedure, which is painless and lasts for 15–30 minutes, your doctor may paint solutions on to the cervix to highlight abnormal areas. A sample of cervical tissue may also be taken, or abnormal areas of the cervix may be treated (see Treating CIN).

During the procedure

You will need to put your legs in supports. The doctor uses an instrument called a speculum to open the vagina and allow the cervix to be seen with the colposcope.


View of the cervix

Normal and abnormal areas of tissue can be seen on this cervix. The abnormal area close to the centre of the cervix proved to be due to moderate CIN (CIN2).

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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