colposcopy

Colposcopy


A colposcopy is a procedure Gynaecologists use to screenine your cervix, vulva, and vagina for signs of illness. Sometimes a colposcopy is performed when a pap smear has shown abnormal cellular growth. If any abnormal activity is found during a colposcopy a biopsy is taken asa sample of tissue for further testing.

What can Colposcopy Results Show?

A colposcopy assist us in diagnosing the following:

  • Cervical cancer, Vulvar cancer, Vaginal cancer
  • Precancerous changes of the cervix, vulva, or vagina
  • Cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix)
  • Genital warts

How is a Colposcopy Performed?

At London Obs & Gynae Clinic a colposcopya nonsurgical procedure is performed on site and typically takes about 15 minutes.

You are required to undress from the waist down and rest your feet in stirrups, similarly to a normal pelvic screenination. A speculum – a long, narrow, duckbill-shaped instrument – will be inserted into your vagina, allowing your doctor to view your cervix.

Since most patients can find this procedure uncomfortable, we always use numbing medication on the cervix and Nitrous Oxide (also known as “laughing gas”) which virtually eliminates anxiety and helps with any remaining discomfort.

The magnifying instrumentcalled a colposcope is positioned just outside of your vulva. Our Consultant will shine a light through the colposcope to illuminate the cervix allowing the problem areas to be seen & identified.

Our Consultant will apply a solution to the area to draw attention to anything suspicious. This may burn or tingle slightly but nothing to be worried about.

Colposcopy Biopsy.

Your gynaecologist may wish to take a biopsy for further testing. A sharp instrument is used to remove a tiny sample of tissue from the suspicious area.

A cervical biopsy isn’t necessarily painful, but numbing agents are available. Sometimes it is uncomfortable and may lead to cramping. However, a vulvar and vaginal biopsy can be painful. In these cases, our Consultant will generally apply a numbing agent to the area.


How do you prepare for your Colposcopy?

If a colposcopy is required, your London Obs & Gynae Consultant will recommend that you:

  • Schedule your procedure during a time when you are not having your period
  • Avoid using tampons and vaginal medications for at least 48 hours before the procedure
  • Abstain from vaginal intercourse for at least 48 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever about 30 minutes prior to your procedure. You can use either nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Having a colposcopy can provoke some anxiety and some patients may find the procedure uncomfortable. In this situation we always use numbing medication on the cervix and Nitrous Oxide (also known as “laughing gas”) which helps with any remaining discomfort& anxiety.

At London Obs & Gynae Clinic we believe you may find it comforting to learn more about the procedure prior to your appointment. In this case please make note of any questions or concerns you have and bring them to our Consultant ahead of time. We encourage using any portable music device with headphones to listen to during your procedure. Many women find that focusing on their favourite music helps them set aside their anxiety and distracts from any discomfort.


What to Expect After a Colposcopy?

After a colposcopy, experiencing some spotting or brownish discharge is normal for the next few days and can easily be managed with sanitary pads.

We recommend you avoid using tampons during this time. If your doctor took a biopsy during your colposcopy, you will need to avoid tampons, sexual activity, and any activity that involves inserting objects or fluids into your vagina. This is to reduce the risk of infection.


Risks of Colposcopy

Colposcopies are generally very safe procedures however as with all medical procedures there are risks. At London Obs & Gynae Clinic our professional team will explain the risks involved and help you understand the steps we take to reduce risk.

Following your colposcopy, if you experience heavy bleeding, severe pelvic pain, or if you develop a fever, you may have an infection. Please contact your doctor right away if you suspect something may be wrong.

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