Colposcopy Patient Information

What is Colposcopy?

Colposcopy is a procedure that lets your gynecologist have a close look at your cervix through a special magnifying instrument called a colposcope. This procedure helps to identify any microscopic abnormalities.

When is Colposcopy needed?

You may need a colposcopy after a routine cervical screening test to have a closer look at the cervix for abnormal cell changes (not necessarily cancerous).

Colposcopy can also be used to investigate unexplained vaginal bleeding or an inflamed cervix.

Booking for Colposcopy

Referral from your GP or Cervical Screening services is required to book an appointment with the gynecologist for a colposcopy.

Before the Colposcopy

Avoid the use of any vaginal cream
Inform us if you are experiencing  heavy menstrual bleeding
Inform if on blood-thinning medications.
Inform if you’re pregnant, you can still have a colposcopy but might not be able to have a biopsy.
Advisable to take mild pain relief like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen an hour before colposcopy to prevent discomfort.

What happens during Colposcopy?

The examination takes between 10 and 20 minutes. You will lie down on the special gynecological chair with padded support to rest your legs on.

A speculum is inserted into the vagina and the doctor looks at your cervix through the colposcope.

A cotton swab dabbed in a vinegar-like solution is used to wipe your cervix and vagina. It might give mild burning or tingling sensation, but it helps the doctor to identify any abnormalities. Sometimes iodine solution is used (please let us know if you are allergic to iodine).During the procedure, a biopsy (a small sample of tissue) may be taken from any abnormal-looking areas in your cervix. A biopsy may be felt like a pinch. The tissue collected is sent to pathology for testing. You may have some spotting’ for a few hours afterward, so it is a good idea to take a sanitary pad to the consultation.

Precautions to take after the Colposcopy

• Avoid vigorous physical exercise for 72 hours.
Avoid the use of vaginal cream and tampons