What is colposcopy?
A colposcopy is nothing more than a procedure where the cervix is viewed through a magnifying lens after being stained with a dilute vinegar (acetic acid) solution. It is a painless procedure.
The photograph below reveals the cervical “os” or opening of the cervical canal. There are several areas of the SCJ or squamo-columnar junction that are visible. This is precisely where one type of epithelium, squamous (think omelets), transitions to another type of epithelium—columnar (think beer cans). Occasionally an abnormal area shows up as unusually “white”. These areas are called “aceto-white” epithelium or AW. These AW areas are often where dysplasia can be found.