What is Colposcopy?
1. A colposcopy is a way of examining your vulva, vagina or cervix for any abnormal area.
2. At Meridia Gynecology, we use the most up to date colposcopes and viewing system so that you can see what we are doing and participate if you wish.
3. A Colposcope is nothing more than a sophisticated microscope that we look through to see abnormal areas using high magnification.
4. This helps see areas which may need treatment or removal at some time.
5. We also use the Colposcope to monitor your vulva or cervix to make sure that no abnormal cells occur again once we have treated you. For example, if you have an abnormal pap test (see our article about Pap tests), we will look
- At your cervix using the Colposcope.
- It shines a bright light on your cervix while we look through the viewer.
- The microscope camera is outside your vagina all the time.
- Nothing other than the usual examination speculum goes inside when we look at you cervix.
Why is it important?
- A Colposcope is vital to see areas that will need treatment.
- We cannot see these areas clearly with our naked eyes, and the magnification that we get with the colposcope makes the diagnosis and treatment more effective.
What is a Colposcope used for?
- To identify and help during treatment of any lesion on the vulva, vagina, cervix or anal areas.
- These lesions can be abnormal pap tests, vulva rashes, Genital Warts, vaginal abnormalities (including discharge and warts).
- It is very useful for the detection of cervix abnormalities before they become cancer (see our article on Pap tests and dysplasia).
- On occasion we can detect cancer of the vulva, vagina or the cervix using the colposcope.
- Pre Cancerous areas are also treated with the aid of the colposcope.
How is it done?
- At Meridia Gynecology, we make sure that your examination and colposcopy is comfortable and respectful. (see: Meridia Gynecology Experience).
- Just like a routine pap test examination, you lie comfortably with your feet in soft foot supports.
- We then use the Colposcope to look at your vulva, vagina and Cervix and focus on the area which is of concern.
- A weak vinegar-like solution is gently applied.
- This helps identify abnormal cell areas, which turns white with this solution.
- We can then make a diagnosis and to take a sample of the area if needed.
Is the Colposcopy Painful?
- This examination is similar to a routine pap test.
- At Meridia Gynecology, we make every effort to minimize your discomfort.
- Unless you have a painful area or problem, the colposcopy is NOT painful.
- Before we take a sample of abnormal tissue, we talk to you, get your permission and always give you local anesthetic before taking a sample.
How should I prepare to have a colposcopy?
- To make yourself comfortable, it is recommended that you have a shower or bath in the morning on the day of your colposcopy.
- Please do not douche (ever) and there is no need to put perfumes or deodorant in your genital area.
- You do not have to shave or wax your hair specifically for the colposcopy.
- Just do as you normally do.
- Emptying you bladder will make the examination a lot more comfortable.
- Please avoid sex for 24 hours before the examination. Sometimes there are small cuts or damage to your vagina and cervix during sex, and this may make the examination less comfortable.
Will a Colposcopy affect me having sex afterwards?
- NO! However, if we take a sample of your vulva, vagina or cervix, we do not recommend vaginal intercourse for 1 week to prevent an infection of the open area, until it heals.
Can I use a tampon or dildo/vibrator after a colposcopy?
- Just the same as for vaginal intercourse, if a sample has been taken during the colposcopy, please do not put anything in your vagina for at least one week to allow the area to heal without causing aninfection.
Will I bleed after the colposcopy?
- You may have spotting afterwards.
- We recommend you use a panty liner and not a tampon.
- If you have heavier bleeding, please let us know.
- Anything heavier than a light period may be a sign of an infection or problem.
- If you have had a Laser or LEEP procedure, you can have bleeding for a longer time.
- We will go over that with you very carefully before you leave the clinic.
Reasons to call us or come in immediately:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding (using more than one pad per hour).
- Lower abdominal pain.
- Fever, chills or a bad-smelling vaginal odor.