If there is an abnormal pap test or a pap test that says atypia and high risk HPV, the next step is to look at the area with a colposcope. The colposcope is a just a microscope on a stand.
The doctor will look through the colposcope at the cervix after wiping off the mucus present. If there is anything suspicious, she will take a tiny pinch of that area to send to the lab. She’ll finish by gently scraping a few loose cells just inside the cervix to send to the lab as well.
Once the results of the biopsies come back the doctor will recommend treatment.
If there are just mild changes or just atypia, she’ll recommend repeat pap tests every few months to watch the cervix clear the changes from the virus and to make sure the problem does not go any further.
If there are any pre-cancerous changes she will suggest numbing the cervix and scraping off the abnormal outer layer.
Pre-cancerous changes of the cervix can also be treated by freezing the outer layers of the cervix.
Any more advanced abnormality of the cervix is treated with surgery and/or radiation therapy.