Colposcopy is a procedure typically used to magnify areas on the cervix and occasionally the vulva to help diagnose abnormalities. The procedure is done with a colposcope, which is like a large microscope. It is usually performed as a follow-up procedure to an abnormal pap smear. The exam itself is similar to a pap smear in that a speculum is inserted to view the cervix. The colposcope is then placed to view the area at 10 to 40 times its normal size. If any abnormal cells are noticed, a biopsy of the tissue may be done. Colposcopy is a very safe procedure with few complications. Light bleeding or discharge for up to a week after the exam is normal.

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