Colposcopy is a microscopic examination of the cervix used to diagnose potential abnormalities of the cervix and vagina. An abnormal Pap smear is the most common reason for needing a colposcopic evaluation. During the procedure, a stain or chemical agent may be placed in the cervix or vagina to improve visualization. If an abnormal area is seen, a biopsy may be taken. The whole procedure typically takes about 15 minutes. Biopsy results may take 1-2 weeks to return to the office after evaluation in the laboratory. Colposcopy is sometimes associated with mild cramping and minimal bleeding.