Obstetrics and Gynecology Services
Lifespan Physician Group


Abnormal pap smears are common and may require taking a closer look with a test called a colposcopy. During a colposcopy the cervix is visualized with a speculum, similar to the exam done for a pap smear. The cervix is swabbed with a vinegar solution and viewed with a colposcope, a series of lights and lenses that magnify the cervix and allow the physician to take a closer look.

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Under magnification, a biopsy of the cervix may be done. This can be mildly uncomfortable. If you are able to take ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil/Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), we recommend you take this prior to the procedure. The results from a colposcopy are useful in determining the best way to manage an abnormal pap smear result.