During a colposcopy, we’ll use a tube-shaped tool (speculum) to take a closer look at your cervix. It’s usually performed after a smear test shows there may be abnormal cells in your cervix. Here at Lively Wellness and Aesthetics in Odessa, TX, we’ll be happy to explain the process to you in full. Let’s discuss what happens during this treatment to help put your mind at ease.
Why You Might Need a Colposcopy
A colposcopy is often performed after your smear test reveals you have abnormal cells in your cervix. Usually, these cells are nothing to worry about, and they may go away on their own. However, we recommend that you have treatment as there’s a risk the cells could turn into cervical cancer.
Other reasons you might need to have this examination performed include:
- Your cervix didn’t appear as healthy as expected during another exam
- You’ve had multiple positive tests in a row for human papillomavirus (HPV)
- After several other screening tests, we were not able to give you a negative result
How To Prepare for Your Appointment
Preparation before the examination is minimal. Refrain from having penetrative vaginal intercourse for 24 hours before the exam. Refrain from using any products you place inside your vagina such as creams, medicines, and tampons.
You should also ensure you tell us if you have an IUD or Mirena coil before the examination. We usually won’t need to take this out, but we still need to know if you have one.
What You Should Bring to Your Appointment
You may experience minor bleeding after your examination, but it’s nothing to worry about. Pregnant women may experience slightly more bleeding, but again, there’s no cause for concern.
What Happens During Your Colposcopy
Your examination should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes. The steps are as follows:
- You’ll undress from the waist down
- A smooth, tube-like device will be placed gently into your vagina
- We’ll use a microscope with a light to visually examine your cervix
- We’ll apply a special dye to your cervix to highlight any abnormalities
- We may take a small tissue sample for further examination
If you wear a loose skirt or dress, then you may not need to undress for the examination.
What Happens If the Examination Discovers Abnormal Cells?
We may be able to tell whether or not you have abnormal cells without a biopsy. We’re often able to remove these during your appointment, and it should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes. It may be slightly uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful.
If it’s not clear whether or not you have any abnormal cells in your cervix, then you’ll need to have a biopsy. A small tissue sample will be taken during your appointment. This sample will be sent off for further testing, and you’ll await your results to see if you require treatment.
Do the Cells Always Need to Be Removed?
Not all abnormal cells need to be removed. You will only be offered immediate treatment to remove cells after a biopsy if the cells are classed as CIN2 or CGIN. This means they have a high risk of developing into cervical cancer https://sps.edu.jo/slot-gacor/.
CIN1 cells have a low risk of developing into cervical cancer, so no immediate treatment is required. You may need to receive follow-up examinations to check on the cells as time goes on. CIN2 cells have a medium risk of developing into cervical cancer, so you may also be offered follow-up examinations or be offered treatment.
How Are These Cells Removed?
There are three ways to remove these abnormal cells:
- Cold coagulation: The abnormal cells are destroyed using a heat source applied to your cervix
- Cone biopsy: We remove the cells as part of a cone-shaped piece of tissue we take out of your cervix
- LLETZ: A heated wire loop is used to remove the abnormal cells
When Should a Colposcopy Not Be Performed?
This examination is entirely safe and can be performed at almost any time. However, if you’ll be having your period at the time of your appointment, then you’ll need to reschedule. You will receive your appointment date ahead of time, so contact us immediately if you think rescheduling will be necessary based on when you believe your next menstrual cycle is due.
Can This Examination Be Performed during Pregnancy?
It’s safe to perform this examination during pregnancy. However, if the examination or a biopsy reveals you have abnormal cells, then these will most likely not be removed during your pregnancy. The cells may go back to normal after you give birth, but if they don’t, then you will be offered treatment.
Colposcopies can seem daunting, but they’re actually quite simple and safe. Anyone woman should receive one to screen for cervical cancer and ensure good cervical health. If you’d like to learn more, visit Lively Wellness and Aesthetics in Odessa, TX today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. Call us at 432-653-1536 to make an appointment.