Colposcopy refers to a specific medical procedure undertaken by a gynaecologist in order to examine the cervix (the passage that forms the lower section of the womb). Mr. Thomas Ind is fully qualified to perform colposcopy procedures, and this service is available at our clinic located on Sloane Street, London.
What is the purpose of a colposcopy?
This examination is primarily used to check for certain symptoms or changes within the cervix. This process may be done in order to diagnose a suspected condition, or as a routine check to make sure everything is normal.
This is particularly important because some factors that are picked up by a colposcope (a particular form of microscope) can be early signs of cancerous cells developing.
Why would I be recommended to have one?
It is normal for transplant patients or HIV patients to have regular colposcopies because they may be at a higher risk of developing various problems. It may also be recommended that you undergo a colposcopy if you report any of the following symptoms or signs:
- Repeated vaginal discharge
- Irregular bleeding
- Bleeding following sexual intercourse
- A specific abnormality of the cervix
- An abnormal result from a smear test
How does the process work?
Normal procedure for a colposcopy is for the patient to lie on a specially designed couch with their legs raised and rested on supports. The necessary position is similar to what is required for a smear test, which may be conducted at the same time. A biopsy may also be required, during which a tiny tissue sample is taken.
It may be necessary to use coloured dyes to help make the cervix more visible when the examination is carried out. After the application of any dye, a colposcope will be inserted into the vagina so that the cervix can be examined. The complete process may be slightly uncomfortable, but no part of it should be painful.
What will the results be?
After the examination, your gynaecologist will be able to identify the likely nature of any abnormalities inside the cervix, as well as how widespread they are.
A biopsy can confirm the seriousness of the issue, for example if the tissue is cancerous, and one of three severity ratings can be assigned. The scientific terminology for this measurement is Cervical Intra-Epithelial Neopasia, usually denoted as CIN. The results will be categorised as either CIN1, CIN2 or CIN3, with the higher number meaning a higher proportion of cells are classified as abnormal.
Provided the test is conducted early enough, a cancer diagnosis at this stage is possible, but rare. In the majority of cases, abnormalities may be temporary and these will simply need to be checked over time. Your medical professional will be able to advise you on the best course of action based on the results of your test.