A colposcopy is a simple procedureused to look at the cervix, the lower partof the wombat thetop of the vagina.It's oftendone if Smear test finds abnormal cells in your cervix.
These cellsaren't harmfuland often go away on their own, but sometimes there's a risk they could eventually turn into cervical cancer if not treated.
A colposcopycan confirm whether cells in your cervix are abnormal and determine whether you need treatment to remove them.
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You may be referred for acolposcopy within a few weeks ofcervical screening if:
A colposcopy can also be used tofind out the cause ofproblems such as unusual vaginal bleeding (for example, bleedingafter sex ).
Try not to worry if you've been referred for a colposcopy. It's very unlikely you havecancer and any abnormal cells won't get worse while you're waiting for your appointment.
A colposcopy is usually carried out in a hospital clinic. It takes about 15-20 minutesand you can go home the same day.
During the procedure:
But if youhad a biopsy, it may take up to four to eight weeks to get your results in the post.
The result of your colposcopy and/or biopsy will be either:
Your doctor or nurse may usethe term CIN or CGIN when discussing your biopsy result. This is this medical name for abnormal cells.
It's followed by a number (for example, CIN 1) that indicates the chances of the cells becoming cancerous. A higher number means a higher risk of cancer developing if the cells aren't removed.
You can go home the same day.
A cone biopsy is usually done under general anaesthetic (where you're asleep) and you may need to stay in hospital overnight.
Find out what a colposcopy is, why it's carried out, what happens and what the results mean.
Find out what happens before, during and after a colposcopy, and what the risks and side effects are.
Find out when you can expect to receive the results of a colposcopy and what the different results mean.