What is a Colposcopy?
A colposcopy is a procedure where Dr Bailey will take a close examination of your cervix using a special microscope called a colposcope to help identify any microscopic abnormalities. The colposcope magnifies the cervix 6-10 times. The procedure differs from a Pap Smear and may be recommended if you have an abnormal Pap Smear result.
It is done as an examination in Dr Bailey’s rooms and no anaesthetic or hospital stay is required.
When is a Colposcopy recommended?
If your Pap Smear results in a CIN 2 or CIN 3, i.e. persistent low-grade changes or high-grade abnormalities, your GP will refer you to a gynaecologist for a colposcopy.
What you can expect during a Colposcopy procedure:
Dr Bailey usually performs the colposcopy procedure in his rooms. The appointment typically takes between 15 – 30 minutes and should be scheduled for a time when you are not having your period.
During the procedure, a speculum will be inserted into the vagina to allow for Dr Bailey to look at your cervix through the colposcope.
A cotton swab may be used to remove any excess mucous and a weak vinegar solution is applied to the cervix, which makes areas where there are changes in the cells turn white – helping Dr Bailey identify abnormalities.
If any abnormalities are identified, Dr Bailey will take a biopsy (small sample of tissue) from the area/s of concern. The biopsy may be a bit uncomfortable, and Dr Bailey usually recommends patients to give a cough while the biopsy is taken.
The tissue collected is then sent to pathology for testing and the results will be available within a two weeks.
You may have some spotting for a few hours after the appointment, so we would advise you to have a sanitary pad on hand.
After the procedure:
If Dr Bailey did not perform a biopsy, you will be able to get back to your usual daily activities and may experience some spotting in the next day or two.
If you had a biopsy, you will be recommended to avoid rigorous physical exercise for 24 hours. It is also recommended to avoid swimming or spa baths to reduce your risk of bleeding or infection for one or two days. Pelvic rest is recommended until your two week follow up appointment.
If you have any questions or concerns about Colposcopies, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Hunter Women’s Health Centre.