A colposcopy is a magnified examination of the cervix. If the results of your pap test are abnormal, your healthcare provider may recommend a colposcopy.
Abnormalities of the cervix are usually caused by HPV exposure. About 80% of sexually active people eventually have some exposure to HPV, but it doesn’t always cause symptoms. Sometimes a colposcopy is done when high-risk HPV is detected or when the cervix looks abnormal, even if the pap smear is normal.