Colposcopy (kol-POS-kuh-pee) is an examining procedure to examine the vulva, vagina and cervix by using a colposcope (a medical as well as surgical instrument). It is only recommended when the Pap smear test’s report comes unusual. However the instrument is an electric microscope of larger size that illuminates bight light.
It assists the doctor to obtain a better and closer view of the cervix with the help of magnification. If any abnormal areas can be spotted them tissue sample will be collected for performing biopsy. ECC (Endocervical Curettage) is the name of the procedure by which the sample is retrieved often.
Then, it will be sent to the respective laboratory to check by the pathologist. Nervousness and anxiety is quite common if your doctor suggests colposcopy, but if you come to know about the procedures and expectations in detail then it may make you feel comfortable while you will undergo the test.
What is the necessity of colposcopy test?
Your doctor will recommend you to perform the private colposcopy test if:
· Bleeding is experienced after intercourse
· The report of your Pap smear is abnormal
· Any abnormal growth of cell is traced in vagina, vulva or cervix
Colposcopy is recommended for diagnosing:
· Genital warts
· Inflammation of the Cervix (cervicitis)
· Any abnormal precancerous, cancerous and cervical cells get detected in the vulva, vagina or cervix
How to take the preparation for colposcopy?
There are certain things to do while preparing for the test. The most important and considerable among them are mentioned in the following:
· Request your doctor for explaining the exam procedure in detail.
· Share with your doctor if you are expecting to conceive.
· The test must be scheduled when you are not menstruating. However, there is no issue with light bleeding. But you must talk to your doctor regarding this to know more.
· Avoid douching, tampon or engaging in sexual intercourse for 48 hours before performing the exam.
· Your doctor will recommend you with a mild OTC (Over-the-Counter) pain reliever if biopsy will be performed. You may discuss with the doctor before the day to perform the test to learn even better.
· To ensure comfort, you may keep your bowel and bladder empty till the test gets completed.
How colposcopy is performed?
You have to visit the doctor’s private colposcopy clinic in London to perform the colposcopy. Normally, it consumes about 20 minutes to get completed even without anaesthesia. Some expectations from this test are given below:
1. You have to lie on the back with stirrup of your feet, the position much similar at the time of Pap smear or pelvic exam.
2. After positioning of the colposcope close to your vulva, speculum will be inserted through your vagina to keep it open. It will help the doctor to get the closer and better view of the cervix.
3. Both vagina and cervix will be swabbed by using the cotton pad dipped in the vinegar solution. It helps in clearing away of the mucus so that the abnormal cells get more prominent.
4. Colposcope will not touch your body. Instead, it helps the doctor to take photographs of the suspected area which will be used as sample for performing biopsy.
5. Post biopsy, application of a solution is done to control bleeding. It is commonly known as Monsel’s solution. It leads you to experience dark coffee-coloured discharge for a few days.
However, there are certain women who find the speculum insertion uncomfortable. Some state the use of vinegar solution leads to stinging sensation. Anxious patients are highly advised to take slow yet deep breathing for the relaxation during the test.
Biopsy associated with colposcopy
Whether you have done biopsy, the feeling you will experience depends on the area which will be examined thoroughly.
· Vaginal biopsy
Vagina is little sensitive and thus you may not feel any pain at the time of biopsy. However its lower portion possesses more sensation which is why local anaesthesia is given before performing the examination.
· Cervical biopsy
Generally, colposcopy is painless but after undergoing the cervical colposcopy, you may experience pain, bleeding, discomfort and cramping. You may be suggested to take the pain reliever 30 minutes prior to perform the test. Even doctor will numb your cervix so that you can feel comfortable during the procedure. Talk to the doctor to know about the plan of performing the test.
What are potential risks of colposcopy
Though the probability of the risks of biopsy and colposcopy is minimal, however a few rare complications may arise. Some of them are listed below for your reference:
· Chilling or fever
· Pelvic pain
· Unusual heavy bleeding that will last for more than 2 weeks
· Infection that leads to bad-odour, yellow-coloured heavy discharge from vagina
If any other symptoms other than these are experienced by you, consultation with the doctor is essential as soon as possible. Remember, biopsy and colposcopy won’t affect the reproductive organ and thus there will be no complication to become pregnant.
What is represented by a colposcopy result?
You have the right to inquire your doctor about the expected time to get the result of the tests if it is getting delayed without any reason. It is important because on the basis of colposcopy tests at the private clinic in London reports further tests and screenings will be recommended to you.
If there is no abnormality stated in the report, then also you have to undergo several other tests to get the confirmation why the Pap smear portrays negative report. Sometimes, follow-up exams are also offered to the patients according to their convenient time to get the confirmation.
· Abnormal report of biopsy
In this test, the pathologist will take the sample of the biopsy to detect any minor abnormalities. Biopsy is excellent in diagnosing the abnormal cancer, precancer, cervical cells and several other treatable medical conditions.
Treatment will be provided to the patient according to the report of the biopsy and colposcopy. Book an appointment today with your doctor to get the answers to all your queries and choose the best option for yourself.
What can you do post colposcopy?
Post colposcopy, you may experience vaginal discharge of dark colour for the next 3 days. Unusual bleeding may get also experienced by you till the next week. Mild cramping is very common with sore vagina and these will last for only 1-2 days.
If the biopsy is not performed then, you can easily set out for daily normal activities. Otherwise, you have to abstain from using vaginal intercourse, vaginal creams, douching and tampons. However, shower or bathing can be done right away. For any other concerns, you must discuss with the doctor.
No matter what the report of the test is, but you must continue the gynaecological tests and exam on a regular basis. Pap smear must be done on the recommendation of your doctor only.