ColposcopyA colposcopy is done when we need to further evaluate an abnormal pap smear. Your doctor places a speculum into the vagina and uses a large cotton swab to apply vinegar to your cervix. As we look through a specially-designed microscope equipped with a green light, the vinegar will cause abnormal areas on the cervix to “light up”. We then usually take a few biopsy specimens which can feel like a menstrual cramp. A liquid iron solution is placed over the biopsy area to stop the bleeding, and it will cause a discharge that looks like coffee grounds for up to several days. You should not use tampons or have intercourse for at least one week after your procedure.
LEEPYou may need a LEEP procedure if you have abnormal or precancerous cells on your cervix (dysplasia). For moderate or severe dysplasia, we will remove the cells using a thin, electric wire loop at the end of a wand. After inserting a speculum into your vagina, your doctor will clean and numb your cervix. Then, the wire loop will be inserted through your vagina to remove the area where the abnormal cells are growing. Your doctor will use a liquid iron solution to stop the bleeding, so you will have a brown discharge that looks like coffee grounds for up to two weeks. After the LEEP, you should not use tampons or have intercourse for two weeks.
Endometrial BiopsyAn endometrial biopsy is done to obtain tissue from inside the uterus to determine the cause for irregular bleeding, which is sometimes only due to changes in hormones. It only takes a few minutes, and the procedure can also let us know if you have a polyp (extra tissue growth) or even cancer. Your doctor will glide in a speculum and may numb your uterus. A long, thin suction device will then be threaded through your cervix and into your uterus. You may experience a feeling like strong menstrual cramps, which usually resolve within a few minutes. You may resume normal activities after an endometrial biopsy.
A fibroid is an overgrowth of uterine muscle and can be found inside the uterine lining, in the muscle of the uterus or just under the surface. They can range in size from very tiny to larger than a basketball and can cause problems including heavy bleeding, pelvic pressure, constipation, bloating and pain. Most are benign, but very rarely they can be malignant. Treatments can range from pain management to surgical removal of just the fibroids or the entire uterus.