Colposcopy is a test to look at the vagina and cervix through a
lighted magnifying tool (colposcope).
The colposcope magnifies the view 2 to 60 times so the doctor can
see any problems that would be missed by the naked eye. A camera can be hooked
to the colposcope to take pictures or videos of the vagina and cervix for a
The doctor may put vinegar (acetic acid) and sometimes iodine
(Lugol's solution) on the vagina and cervix with a swab or cotton balls to see
areas of abnormal cells more clearly. Samples of the abnormal cells (biopsies)
can be collected and looked at under a microscope.
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.