A colposcopy is done when a pap smear or exam reveals something abnormal. A colposcopy uses an instrument, called a colposcope, to look closely at the vagina, vulva, and / or cervix. It is usually done right in the doctor’s office. Tissue may be collected for biopsy if your doctor sees something suspicious. A colposcopy and biopsy usually only take about 15 to 20 minutes. Colposcopy is generally very safe, but like all medical procedures, it does carry some risks, including, bleeding, pain, and infection. The benefit of the procedure is that it offers patients and their doctors more information than they could otherwise have. Your doctor can share what they see during the exam, but biopsy results may take several days to come back.