A Colposcopy is a simple examination that allows the doctor to see the type and area of the abnormality on your cervix. It also lets the consultant decide if you need treatment.
The instrument is called a colposcope and is really just a large magnifying glass which lets the doctor look more closely at the changes on your cervix.
Colposcopy can be done safely during pregnancy and will not affect delivery of your baby, nor will it affect your ability to become pregnant in the future. However, treatment is usually postponed until after the delivery of your baby.
The nurse will help you to position yourself on a special type of couch. The couch has padded supports on which you rest your legs. When you are lying comfortably the consultant will gently insert a speculum into your vagina, just as when you had your cervical screening test.
Sometimes another test is taken. After this the doctor will look at your cervix using a colposcope. The colposcope is a specially adapted type of microscope. It might look a bit alarming, but is just a large magnifying glass with a light source attached. It looks like a large pair of binoculars on a stand. It does not touch you or go inside you.
The doctor will then dab different liquids onto your cervix to help identify and highlight any areas of abnormal cells. The abnormal areas will appear white. If any abnormal area is identified, a small sample of tissue – a biopsy – will be taken from the surface of the cervix. A biopsy is about the size of a pinhead. You may feel a slight stinging, but it should not be painful.
After you have dressed, the doctor may be able to tell you what is wrong and what treatment, if any, is needed. But often, especially if you have had a biopsy, you will not be given a definite diagnosis immediately after the examination. It will take a week or two before you get the results of the biopsy. After the examination you should feel well enough to continue with your usual routine. Your consultant will see you for a follow up 2 weeks after the appointment and discuss the results of the Biopsy or book you in for treatment.
If you have abnormal or precancerous cells, your doctor may offer you treatment to remove them. This will depend on how abnormal your cells are and how far down into your cervix they go. If you need treatment, your doctor will be able to advise which option is best for you.
LLETZ (Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone), is the most common treatment used in the UK. LLETZ uses a loop with an electric current that passes through it, to remove the abnormal cells from your cervix. This procedure is carried out by your consultant in the clinic under local anaesthetic.
Yes. It is important to keep your appointments to make sure that your cervix is still healthy.
We would recommend a follow-up check between four and six months after the examination or treatment. During this visit the consultant will take a cervical screening test and may do another colposcopy examination to make sure that the cervix is healthy again. You may have another follow-up check six months later. This visit will be similar to the previous one.
Call us on 01483 454016 for further information prices for colposcopy start from £550.