Introduction to Colposcopy
Colposcopy is a procedure that examines whether you have abnormal cells in your cervix. The presence of abnormal cells may indicate that you are at risk of developing cervical cancer.
What is a Colposcopy?
Colposcopy is a procedure that examines whether you have abnormal cells in your cervix. The presence of abnormal cells may indicate that you are at risk of developing cervical cancer. You may need to have the investigation after a routine cervical screening test, or if you are infected with a virus known as HPV. Furthermore, the test may be used if you have experienced unexplained bleeding from the vagina.
How is a Colposcopy performed?
You will be asked to lie down in a chair, with supports for your legs. A tool known as a speculum will be inserted into the vagina, holding the vagina open. A special microscope will be used to look at your cervix. This does not enter your body. If abnormal cells are seen, a small sample may be taken for closer examination. The procedure is simple and should only take around 10 minutes.
How to prepare for a Colposcopy?
Don’t have sex or use vaginal lubricant 24 hours before your procedure. If your period is due on the day of your appointment, please phone the clinic and let them know. It will be useful to take a panty liner to the appointment as a small amount of discharge may be come out of your vagina following the procedure.
What happens after a Colposcopy?
You will be able to resume work and normal activities after your appointment. If you are experiencing light bleeding following a biopsy, it is advisable to wait until this stops before having sex or using vaginal lubricant.
The results of the colposcopy are usually available straight away. If you have had a biopsy, the sample will be sent to a laboratory for testing and you will receive the results a few weeks later. Around 2 in 5 people undergoing colposcopy have normal results, with low risk of developing cervical cancer. The remaining women will have abnormal cells that may develop into cervical cancer if left untreated.