A colposcopy is a way your doctor can examine people's genitals, vagina and cervix closely. A colposcope is an instrument that shines a light on the cervix and magnifies the view for their doctor. At the beginning of the exam, they lie back and place their feet in the stirrups as they would for a Pap smear. Their doctor inserts a speculum into their vagina and opens it slightly so he or she can see their cervix. Then their doctor applies a vinegar solution to the cervix and vagina with a cotton ball or swab.