DEAR DOCTOR K: I had an abnormal Pap smear. Now my doctor wants me to have a colposcopy. What can I expect during this procedure?
DEAR READER: Pap smears help determine if you might have cancer, or a precancerous condition, of your cervix. When a Pap smear raises such suspicions, the next step is a colposcopy. Colposcopy is generally safe and painless. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes and doesn't require anesthesia.