Why get a colposcopy?
A colposcopy is done when the result of your HPV test is positive or the Pap smear result is unusual. Other reasons for a colposcopy is when sex is painful, post sex bleeding, or abnormal vaginal bleeding.
A procedure that examines the cervix for any abnormalities using a magnifying instrument. Here, the healthcare provider will seek for cancerous cells growing in your cervix.
Having a colposcopy means I have cervical cancer?
Not at all. It’s simply a test that identifies any unusual alterations in the cervix that may lead to cancer later on. So, calm down, you’ve got no cervical cancer presently. It can take 10 to 15 years for cervical cancer to show up which is why regular checks is important so you can detect this unusual growth and stop it before cancer sets in. A sure way to prevent cervical cancer from developing is via a colposcopy. If your doctor recommends it, then you should have it. Contact our colposcopy clinic in London.
I missed my colposcopy, what will happen?
This comes down to your cervix. Should you have abnormal cells growing, cervical cancer will develop afterwards. On the contrary, should there be no abnormal cells present, you won’t have cancer. But how will you know? Go get a colposcopy now.
- Avoid vaginal sex 48 hours before the procedure
- Personal lubricants, vaginal medications, or douches shouldn’t be avoided 48 hours prior to the procedure
- Book your appointment when you’re not having your menstruation
Procedure for colposcopy
- You’ll take off your clothes from the waist down, or use the hospital gown. Then you’ll lie back down on the exam table with your feet held in the stirrups on both sides of the bed and your knees bent and facing upwards
- Using a swab, a solution of vinegar will be applied to your cervix. This solution will expose any cancerous cell area in your cervix so the doctor can pay more attention to them
- The doctor will insert a lubricated speculum that will hold your vaginal walls apart so they can have a better view of your cervix. This will create some pressure upon insertion
- A colposcope will be used to examine your cervix. This device lights up the cervix and makes it look magnified for a clearer view of problematic areas. Some colposcope will show you pictures of your cervix or the entire process. It depends on the type used by your doctor.
- Your doctor may carry out a biopsy if there are suspicious areas. To do this, a small sample of tissue from your cervix will be taken and analysed in the lab. You may experience minimal cramps like the one felt during your period. Depending on what they see, you doctor may take multiple biopsies.
You can click here to learn more about colposcopy.
Post colposcopy tips
You may have a sore vagina few days after colposcopy. Cramping may be the experience one or two days after the procedure. Bleeding with little spotting or a dark-coloured discharge may follow a biopsy few days after. Don’t use tampons; use panty-liner or pad.
You can bathe as quickly as you want but wait for 24 hours before doing so.Stay away from vaginal sex for a day or two after colposcopy or until you stop bleeding in the case of a biopsy.
For serious bleeding, fever or vaginal discharge that smells, see your doctor.
What happens after colposcopy?
Should there be no abnormal cells growth after the colposcopy, your doctor may recommend a routine cervical cancer screening as follow up treatment. They will tell you when to visit the clinic.
In a case where biopsies were done, you have to wait till results are out before continuing with any course of prescribed treatment. The result of biopsy may be normal or abnormal. Should it be abnormal, the biopsy will determine how severe it is and aid the next stage of managing the condition.
What happens when an abnormality is detected?
Where an abnormal cell growth is detected, your doctor may recommend that it be removed via a clinical procedure, so it doesn’t spread or develop further. In many cases, extracting the abnormal cells can be done in a single appointment with your doctor or at another clinic.
If it happens that the condition is complicated which rarely happens, your doctor will provide all the help you need to get through and feel healthier again.
What is the possibility of having cervical cancer?
About 1 in 20 women will have an abnormal result from a smear test. However, just around 1 in 2000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer following any degree of an abnormal smear.
Your risk of having the actual cervical cancer should you have had a Pap smear test result that came out abnormal is just 1%.
Studies show that more than 15,000 U.S women develop cervical cancer primarily due to the fact that they didn’t have primary or secondary screening. This is why we strongly advise you don’t miss your primary screening and appointments for colposcopy.
Need more details?
If you do, there is so much information online that can give a better and comprehensive understanding of what colposcopy is about so you can be better prepared and informed. This will lower anxiety and stress and create a better experience for you.
Meanwhile, we have the best colposcopy clinic that can take care of your needs.
Another way to ease tension and relax is to seek help from support groups. You are not alone. There are other women who’ve been through colposcopy, and you can learn from their experience. A lot of support groups online and other organisations offer medical advice, information, personal stories, and relevant resources that can aid treatment in terms of financing. The CDC and NHS and other websites can also be a source of information to know more about colposcopy and cervical cancer. Visit them to know more.