A colposcopy is a procedure in which a special instrument is used to examine your cervix. A colposcopy is usually performed after an abnormal result from a smear test.
The results will determine whether you need additional treatment to remove abnormal cells from your cervix.
What Are The Reasons for Having a Colposcopy?
You may need to have a colposcopy if:
- abnormal cells were detected during your routine cervical smear.
- the smear test produced inconclusive results
- anything unusual was spotted during a routine smear test or gynaecological exam
- you’ve been experiencing symptoms that could be associated with your cervix, such as bleeding between periods or after sex
An abnormal smear result isn’t usually anything to worry about, but it does need to be investigated. Your gynaecologist can use the colposcopy to check your cervix and identify the cause of the problem. It can help her to make a diagnosis and find the right treatment. The colposcopy can confirm the presence of abnormal cells that could be precancerous. If you have abnormal cells, there is a risk that they could develop into cervical cancer if they are left in place. The doctor may need to remove them to prevent this from happening.
What to Expect
A colposcopy is an examination of your cervix using a special microscope called a colposcope.
- You will need to remove the lower half of your clothing and lie down with your legs raised.
- The doctor will use a speculum to hold your vagina open. It will feel just like having a smear test.
- The colposcope will then be used to look at your cervix. It will simply be placed before your vagina, without touching your body at all.
- The doctor may apply a special liquid to your cervix in order to dye any abnormal cells.
- It may also be necessary to take a sample or biopsy of these cells so they can be tested in the lab, which could cause some mild discomfort.
- The investigation should only take about 15 to 20 minutes.
What Happens Next
The results of your colposcopy will determine whether you need any additional tests or treatment.
- If abnormal cells are detected during the colposcopy, it may be possible to remove them immediately.
- If a biopsy was performed, you may need to wait for the results to find out if you need treatment.
Our experienced gynaecology specialists will recommend removing the cells if there is a risk that could develop into cervical cancer. they will advise you on the options for removal and perform the procedure for you. The abnormal cells can usually be removed during a colposcopy with a local anaesthetic, but sometimes surgery is required to remove larger areas of tissue.