Colposcopy is a procedure undertaken by a


in which a lighted magnifying instrument (a colposcope) is used to help examine the tissues of the vulva, vagina and cervix. The main goal of colposcopy is to prevent 

cervical cancer

 by detecting


lesions early and treating them, usually after an abnormal Pap smear test has indicated a possible problem. During the procedure a biopsy may be performed to take a sample of tissue of an abnormal area. Colposcopy also can be used to detect inflammatory or infectious changes, harmless growths, and injuries to the vulva, vagina and cervix.

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