Tristan E. Bickman, MD
Santa Monica | obgyn

Colposcopy Specialist

OB-GYN located in Santa Monica, CA


About Colposcopy

Having regular gynecological exams including colposcopy to view your cervix and vagina is a critical part of ensuring you avoid cancer and other serious medical conditions. Dr. Bickman offers state-of-the-art exam and evaluation services including colposcopy exams to help you maintain the best possible health. 

Colposcopy Q&A

What is colposcopy?

Colposcopy is a type of examination that uses a magnifying device to gain a close, clear view of your vulva, vagina and cervix so your doctor can look for abnormalities and other signs of disease or medical issues.

Why is colposcopy performed?

Colposcopy may be performed as part of a regular pelvic exam, but it may also be performed to get a closer look at a sore or other abnormality that's visualized during an exam; to follow up on an abnormal Pap test or an earlier abnormal colposcopy; to determine if a treatment for an earlier problem is working; or to evaluate the presence of HPV (human papillomavirus).

What can cause an abnormal Pap test?

Abnormal Pap tests may be caused by viral infections like HPV, yeast infections or other types of infections. Cellular changes that occur in menopause can also trigger abnormal results, as can the presence of cancerous or precancerous cells.

What's involved in the colposcopy exam?

During the exam, Dr. Bickman will insert a lubricated speculum into your vagina to open the interior walls of the vagina for easier viewing. Next, the colposcope will be used to magnify and light the interior of your vagina and your cervix so they can be viewed up close. In some cases, a camera can be attached to take pictures for later review and for record-keeping. Dr. Bickman may also use a special liquid to make abnormal areas easier to see. If an abnormal area is identified, a small sample of tissue called a biopsy will be taken for examination under a microscope. Biopsies can provide important information that can help identify early stages of cancer or other conditions that need treatment.