Abnormal Cervical Screening
Your GP may refer you to a gynaecologist for a colposcopy if abnormalities are found on your Cervical Screening Test. A colposcopy is a high powered microscope that provides the gynaecologist with a magnified view of the cervix, vagina and vulval area. It is performed with a speculum (the same instrument used for your cervical screening test) to assist vision to the cervix. During the colposcopy different solutions are applied to the cervix to reveal possible abnormal areas. A biopsy may be required to better assess these abnormal cells.
The procedure takes about 10-15 minutes. If Dr Proud takes a biopsy of an abnormal appearing area it is sent away to the laboratory for assessment.
These abnormalities can range from inflammation, infection, pre-cancerous cells or cancer of the cervix. Cancer is very rare and the majority of changes found at the time of colposcopy will resolve without any treatment, requiring only follow-up checks. Sometimes the biopsy will reveal pre-cancerous changes that require further treatment to prevent the progression to a cancer. Once treated and cleared, the majority of patients will return to the usual schedule of screening.