A colposcopy examination has been arranged for you because you have had an abnormal smear.
What is a Colposcopy?
Colposcopy means looking at the cervix (neck of the womb) with a special microscope - called a Colposcope – that looks like a pair of binoculars. The Colposcope is completely outside your body and does not touch or cause you any pain or discomfort.
The procedure is very similar to having a cervical smear but it takes a little longer to perform - about ten minutes. If you wish, it is possible to watch the procedure via a camera on a television monitor.
What are the benefits of having a Colposcopy?
The Colposcope magnifies the view of the cervix. This allows any abnormalities to be seen that otherwise may have been missed.
What are the risks of having a Colposcopy?
There is a slight risk of infection from a cervical biopsy.
Are there any alternatives available?
There are no alternative treatments.
What will happen if I don’t have the investigation?
We will be unable to assess whether there is an abnormality on your cervix.
When the practitioner is examining you, a weak vinegar solution is put on the cervix to highlight any abnormal cells. Iodine may also
be used for this purpose. This may sting slightly. If you know you are allergic to these solutions, please tell the practitioner.
The practitioner will normally take a biopsy (fragment of skin) from the cervix about two to three mm in size. This procedure usually takes only a few seconds and is not usually painful. After the procedure you may have a little bleeding or black/brown discharge over the following day or two. This is nothing to worry about. You may also experience a period-like ache, which a simple painkiller will help.
The practitioner will write to you and your family doctor (GP) within four to six weeks with the result of your biopsy.
A further appointment will be included if the practitioner needs to see you again. If this appointment is not convenient, please ring the colposcopy clinic on 0151 706 2636 to arrange a more suitable appointment.
See and treat
Occasionally, if the abnormality is confirmed by colposcopy, you may be offered treatment without a biopsy. This is called See and treat. As you may be suitable for this procedure, we enclose a leaflet on treatment. You have the option of declining See and treat.
Tel: 0151 706 2636 Fax: 0151 706 5672