Colposcopy - directed biopsy

What is Colposcopy-Directed Biopsy?

Colposcopy-directed biopsy is a medical procedure used to detect and diagnose potential precancerous and cancerous changes in the cervix, endometrium (lining of the uterus), and vagina. A colposcopy is performed with a specialized lighted microscope called a colposcope. This procedure allows the physician to visualize the lower parts of the female reproductive tract more precisely.

Preparation for a Colposcopy-Directed Biopsy

Before a colposcopy-directed biopsy is performed, a woman should talk with her primary care doctor or gynecologist to discuss the potential benefits, risks, and alternatives to the procedure.

The doctor may recommend a pelvic exam and a urinalysis, where blood, cotinine, and alcohol levels are measures. Before the procedure, the doctor will explain the procedure in detail and answer any questions the patient may have.


Before the procedure, a speculum is inserted into the vagina to open it. The colposcope is then used to see the surface of the cervix. An acetic acid solution and iodine solution may be swabbed onto the cervix during the procedure.

Once the physician examines the cervix, a biopsy may be recommended. During the biopsy, a small instrument is inserted into the cervix to remove a tissue sample. During this phase of the procedure, some women report feeling discomfort or pressure in their abdomen.

Types of Colposcopy-Directed Biopsy

There are three types of colposcopy-directed biopsy:

  • Endocervical curettage: During this type of biopsy, the doctor uses a curette, or a small spoon-shaped instrument, to scrape cells from the entrance of the uterus for analysis.
  • Cervical endometrial biopsy: During this procedure, the doctor takes a sample of the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus, with a special instrument.
  • Loop electrical excision procedure (LEEP): The doctor uses a thin wire loop to cut a sample of cervical or endometrial tissue. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Risks of a Colposcopy-Directed Biopsy

There are some risks associated with a colposcopy-directed biopsy, including:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Tissue damage
  • Scarring
  • False-positive results

It is important to talk with a doctor about the risks associated with the procedure, as well as how to prepare and what to expect afterwards.

Why is a Colposcopy-Directed Biopsy Used?

A colposcopy-directed biopsy can be used to detect and diagnose potential precancerous and cancerous changes in the cervix, endometrium (lining of the uterus), and vagina. During a colposcopy-directed biopsy, the doctor can take a sample of cervical or endometrial tissue for laboratory testing.

Colposcopy-directed biopsy is used when a woman has an abnormal Pap test result and further testing is needed. The procedure can also be used to monitor changes in the cervix, endometrium, and vagina after initial treatment.

When is a Colposcopy-Directed Biopsy Necessary?

A colposcopy-directed biopsy is usually recommended if a Pap test result was abnormal or inconclusive. It can help diagnose potential precancerous changes or cancer. It can also be used to monitor any changes in the cervix, endometrium, or vagina after treatment. Women over the age of 21 and those who have had abnormal Pap test results should talk to their doctor about whether or not a colposcopy-directed biopsy is necessary.