• A colposcopy is carried out when abnormalities have been   seen on a cervical smear. The colposcope is a microscope   which magnifies the cervix and enables it to be examined   more closely.

• Colposcopy is a painless procedure performed in
  out-patients. An instrument called a speculum is inserted
  to hold the walls of the vagina apart and the cervix is then   examined with the colposcope.

• Dilute acetic acid and iodine may be painted onto the
  cervix in order to highlight any abnormal changes.

• Small pieces of tissue called biopsies may be removed
  and sent to the laboratory to be analysed.

• There may be a small amount of bleeding following the   procedure, but normal activities can be resumed

• If an abnormality is present, it may also be treated at
  this first visit.