Colposcopy is a specialized examination of the cervix using a high resolution microscope. It allows any pre-cancer or cancerous cells in the cervix to be seen long before any symptoms or visible growths on the cervix are present. This procedure is carried out in the clinic and does not require any anaesthetic as it is relatively painless. A weak vinegar solution is used to make the abnormal cells visible, allowing the doctor to make an thorough assessment.