A biopsy is a test that checks your tissue for the presence of cancer or other diseases. It involves the removal of a small sample of tissue, which is then analyzed visually and chemically. Your gynecologist may order a biopsy if they discover an area of concern during their examination.


A colposcopy is a procedure to check your vulva, cervix, and vagina for signs of disease. Your doctor uses a special instrument called a colposcope to examine the area under intense magnification. Colposcopies can help us diagnose genital warts, cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix), and precancerous changes in genital tissue.


A hysteroscopy is a procedure to examine the lining of the uterus for any abnormalities. It is a more involved procedure than a colposcopy because it involves inserting a thin tube called a hysteroscope all the way into the uterus. There are several reasons a hysteroscopy might be recommended:

  • You are experiencing heavy menstruation or severe cramping.
  • Your pap smear test results are abnormal.
  • You’ve had problems getting pregnant, or more than one miscarriage.
  • Your doctor needs a biopsy of your uterine wall.
  • Your IUD is dislocated.

LEEP Procedure

If you have a pap smear test or colposcopy that indicates the presence of pre-cancerous cells on your cervix, then your doctor may recommend a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) to remove them.

LEEP is a very common and safe procedure that can be performed quickly and conveniently in your doctor’s office, without the need for a stay in the hospital or significant recovery time. It involves removing cervical tissue with a thin wire loop that has been electrically heated.

What to expect during a LEEP

LEEP is a 20-minute procedure and is usually performed under local anesthesia. Your doctor will prepare your cervix by injecting a numbing medication into the area. Once the area is numb, your doctor will insert the wire loop into the vagina, directing it to the cervix. After making contact with the cervix, the loop is charged with an electric current that cuts away a thin layer of cervical tissue to remove the abnormal cells.

After a LEEP, you will require some follow-up care to ensure that the abnormal cells do not come back and potentially develop into cervical cancer. Your doctor will also want to monitor you for signs of rare, but possible, side effects that include heavy bleeding, infection, and scar tissue developing on the cervix, which can interfere with menstruation.