Colposcopy is examination of woman’s genital organs including Cervix,vagina and vulva with magnification. A light source and a special microscope called Colposcope are used for this purpose. The main goal of colposcopy is to prevent cervical cancer by detecting precancerous lesions early and treating them. Its usually done after the initial Pap Smear reveals some abnormality.
Who should get colposcopy?
Reasons your doctor may have for ordering this procedure include
- Abnormal Pap smear results : Features of dysplasia or cancer, HPV , or atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS)
- Evaluation of diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure in utero
- In Immunosuppressed woman -HIV infection, or post organ transplant
- An abnormal looking cervix on clinical examination.
How is Colopscopy helpful?
Colposcopy is important because it can detect cancer of the cervix at an early stage. Also it saves you of any unnecessary invasive treatments just because you had an abnormal pap smear.
What is invoved with the Colposcopy procedure?
Usually Colposcopy causes some discomfort as in Papsmear and is not painful.If a biopsy (Where a small piece of abnormally looking tissue is taken) is needed, you might experience some cramps and pinching sensation
Taking deep breaths and relaxing your muscles during the procedure would lessen the discomfort.
What are the Dos & Donts before & after Colposcopy?
Before the procedure:
- Colposcopy is better done in days before or after your menses.
- Do not use any vaginal medications, tampons,douche or have sexual intercourse within a day of your appointment.
- You need to empty your bowel and bladder before laparoscopy.
- You need to inform your doctor if you are already pregnant or might be pregnant
After the procedure
- You may expect some spotting or slight bleeding/ brownish discharge for few days if a biopsy had been taken. So you can carry a sanitary pad along with.
- Restrain from sexual intercourse and from using anything (pessaries/medication/tampon)inside the vagina for at least 1wk
- You need to report the hospital if you have any unexpected heavy bleeding, lower abdominal pain or fever with chills.
When will I get to know the results?
Usually it takes around 7 -10 days for the reports.
Whats an abnormal result?
Most of the abnormal results indicate some kind of infection or inflammation. However they also indicate
- Precancerous tissue changes ( CIN1 or CIN2)
- Cervical warts (human papilloma virus)
Abnormal findings during a colposcopy include:
- Abnormal patterns in the blood vessels
- Whitish patches on the cervix
After an abnormal colpo you will be guided for specific treatment like resection of the affected portion(LLEETZ) or surgery.