Colposcopy can determine if your vagina or cervix contains any abnormal cells. Almost 60% women find abnormal cervical cells after the procedure. The doctor may recommend it if your pelvic exam was not successful and to diagnose various cervical conditions. These include noncancerous (benign) polyps, precancerous changes, cancerous cells, inflammation, or genital warts in your cervix. It can also help determine the reason behind pelvic pain or abnormal vaginal bleeding. Here are five important things to know about colposcopy before you go for it.
5 Things for Women to Learn About Colposcopy
- It’s an outpatient procedure
Colposcopy is done at the doctor’s office and resembles a pelvic exam. The doctor places a device called a speculum inside your vagina. While it holds your vagina open, another instrument called a colposcope is placed near it to allow the doctor to clearly examine your cervix. The doctor then applies a solution on the cervix to detect any abnormal areas.
- It can screen any possibilities of cervical cancer
Your doctor will recommend colposcopy only when your pap test result is unable to determine if you need treatment. Sometimes, abnormal cervical cells can hint at cervical cancer. You may also be infected with HPV (human papillomavirus) which makes cells cancerous. If you have a positive HPV test, colposcopy will be recommended. In any of these cases, you will require immediate treatment.
- You may need follow-up procedures or pap smears
After a cervical biopsy, the results may show that your cervix is normal or contains abnormal cells. In the latter case, the doctor may ask for more diagnostic tests or another pap smear. You may need other procedures to eliminate all these abnormal cells.
- Mild bleeding is normal after a biopsy
Colposcopy doesn’t come with major side effects. If you have a cervical biopsy, a dark vaginal discharge and mild vaginal bleeding occur for about a week due to the solution used to slow down the bleeding. Your cervix heals during this time. So, avoid stressing the vagina by having intercourse or wearing tampons. If you experience heavy vaginal bleeding or develop an infection or fever after the screening test, contact your doctor immediately. If a biopsy was not done, you can resume regular activities quickly.
- You might have mild pain
How much pain you experience during colposcopy differs from woman to woman. Usually, it’s mild. During your cervical biopsy, you may have a cramping or pinching sensation. When your cervix is treated with a solution, you may also experience a stinging or burning feeling. Taking deep breaths and relaxing your pelvic muscles during treatment help a lot. If necessary, you can also seek the doctor’s permission to use over-the-counter pain relievers.
If you wish to have a cervical screening or suspect having any cervical problems, book an appointment with the best gynaecologist in Delhi for scheduling your colonoscopy right away.