- A colposcopy is a microscopic examination of your cervix, to look for early changes that can lead to cervical cancer.
- Most abnormalities are diagnosed and treated well before they become cervical cancer.
- If higher grade abnormalities are detected, the recommended treatment is usually excision of the abnormality (LLETZ).
What is a colposcopy?
A colposcopy is a microscopic examination of your cervix looking for early changes that can lead to cervical cancer. In other words, we are looking for cells that might become a cancer if left untreated.
Colposcopy procedure explained
The procedure is very similar to a cervical screening test or a pap smear test.
Our gynaecologists here at Joondalup Obstetrics and Gynaecology Group will place a speculum in your vagina to hold the walls of your vagina in an open position. Then we use a special microscope, called a colposcope, to examine your cervix. We will apply some acetic acid (not painful) and lugol’s iodine to help visualise the cervix.
If we see a suspicious area, we will take a small sample of tissue (a biopsy) to test in the lab.
The procedure will take about 5 to 10 minutes.
Should I be worried?
No, you should not be worried in case you need a colposcopy. The most common indication for this procedure is an abnormal cervical screening test that would have been performed by your GP. Most abnormalities are diagnosed and treated well before they can turn into cervical cancer.
Generally, your results will be available within 2 weeks.
Colposcopy Perth FAQs
Do’s and don’ts
We understand that having a colposcopy is not something to look forward to. But you can be assured that our women’s health specialists here at Joondalup Obstetrics and Gynaecology Group are very experienced and understand how you feel.
Even though most abnormalities are diagnosed -thanks to colposcopy- before they become cancerous, you may feel stressed about it, and that is perfectly normal. Below we will answer most of your common questions and we hope that the answers can give you some peace of mind before you come and see us for your procedure.
Yes, you can but it is not preferred especially if the period is heavy. There is a chance that abnormalities are missed, so we generally recommend that it is done when you are not on your period.
Yes, you can. A colposcopy is safe during pregnancy, however, we do not take biopsies during pregnancy unless absolutely crucial.
Generally, no recovery is required after a colposcopy and no pain is experienced. If a biopsy was taken, there may be some bleeding for a few days.
There are generally no restrictions or precautions prior to colposcopy.
If a biopsy was obtained then generally we recommend not having intercourse of a bath for at least 48 hours.
Unless a biopsy is obtained, no healing is required. Cervical biopsies are so small that usually within a week all symptoms have resolved.
Yes, you can exercise after colposcopy.
Yes, but if a biopsy was obtained we recommend you wait for at least 48 hours.
In most instances, we tend to observe detected abnormalities over time as your immune system tends to clear them.
When higher-grade abnormalities are detected, then the recommended treatment is usually excision of the abnormality (LLETZ).
This can be achieved with local anaesthesia or a general anaesthetic if you prefer.
Rarely, cancer is detected and this will require more involved assessments and treatment.
Having any kind of close family with a cancer does require a discussion with us. We will talk to you about this during your consultation.
LLETZ gynaecologist Perth
Further treatment after a colposcopy
If we detect abnormal cells after colposcopy, you will be advised to have them removed. The most common way to remove high-grade changes to the cervix is using a procedure called LLETZ (large loop excision of the transformation zone).
We will give you a local anaesthetic -or a general one if you prefer that- to numb your cervix. Then we will insert a heated loop of wire to remove the tissue which is usually about the size of a fingernail.
After LLETZ you may bleed for up to 4 weeks. We recommend not having penetrative sex for a month, as well as not using tampons or menstrual cups.
12 excellent reasons to choose Joondalup Obstetrics and Gynaecology Group
Care for the whole family, organising work certificates for partners.
Providing safe care and birth options (experience as a rural GP obstetrician).
A limited number of private patients to allow us the ability to provide patients with the service they deserve.
Make the time for patients, understand what they want/expect from their journey, available 24/7 (when on leave you will be covered during those times).
Blood pressure management.
Foetal growth assessment.
Maintaining a close relationship with your GP.
In-house access to allied health services such as physiotherapy and lactation consultants.
Free online antenatal classes.
We are Joondalup Obstetrics and Gynaecology Group, in short JOGG. We are a Joondalup-based private obstetrics and gynaecology practice, and cater for mums, women and families across the Perth metro area.