Oxford Women's Health
A colposcopy is a detailed examination of the cervix (entrance to the uterus) with a specially lit microscope (colposcope). As with a Pap smear, an instrument called a speculum is inserted into the vagina, and then the colposcope is positioned outside the vagina with its light directed on the cervix.
A specialist will perform a colposcopy if your Pap smear has shown abnormal or cancerous cells on the cervix. During the colposcopy further samples of tissue (biopsies) are usually removed and examined in the laboratory so the doctor can get a clearer idea of the extent of the abnormal cells.