Atlas of Colposcopy: Principles and Practice

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Colposcopy is a diagnostic test to detect pathologies of the cervix, vagina, and vulva. The test is used primarily to identify premalignant and malignant lesions. Many benign conditions (e.g. genital warts, polyps, and infections) can also be detected by colposcopy.

The colposcope is used to direct biopsies of abnormal lesions, to plan management, and to perform excisional treatment of cervical precancerous lesions.

Colposcopy is an outpatient procedure, and no anaesthesia or hospitalization is required.
Colposcopy can be performed at any time of the menstrual cycle except during heavy menstrual bleeding. The best time to schedule colposcopy is during the first half of the menstrual cycle (the follicular phase), when cervical mucus is clear. However, in routine practice it is not convenient (and also not necessary) to schedule colposcopy based on the days of the menstrual cycle.

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