Colposcopy is an extremely important and widespread examination that enables full inspection of the cervix, the vagina and the outside of the genital organs in order to detect any abnormalities. Colposcopy is performed with the help of a special device (colposcope) and along with the PAP smear are the basic tests for the prevention of cervical cancer.
Colposcopy is considered necessary in the following cases:
- When the Pap smear results are not normal.
- When bimanual pelvic exam detects visible abnormalities in the cervical area.
- When external condylomas are diagnosed.
- If there are inflammations of the cervix that do not recede.
- Where the woman’s history, e.g. frequent hemorrhage episodes require it.
- When diagnosing any abnormalities – dysplasia of the cervix during gynecological examination.
The procedure of the colposcopy does not differ much from the PAP smear procedure. The woman lies in the stirrups chair and then the gynecologist, with the help of a speculum and a coloscope inspects the cervix, the vagina and the outer genitalia and stains any abnormal areas with specific solutions. In some cases it may be necessary to harvest a tissue sample for a biopsy.
In general, a colposcopy is not painful as the doctor performs the examination using the colposcope and does not come in contact with the woman at all. The only cases in which there may be a slight discomfort are when the use of specific solutions that may cause stinging is required, or when a cervix biopsy is taken, often causing a slight discomfort, similar to menstrual pains.
The colposcopy can be performed on any day of the woman’s menstrual cycle except for the actual menstruation and two to three days after its completion, so that there is no blood in the area.
It is advisable to avoid sexual intercourse 2-3 days before the colposcopy, as well as vaginal medication and intravaginal ointments that can mask any abnormalities and prevent proper diagnosis.
Colposcopy is an extremely important test that, in conjunction with the Pap smear, detects severe cervical, vaginal and uterine conditions. Thanks to the examination of the colposcopy, significant progress has been made in the treatment of cervical cancer, as it detects it at a very early stage, thus allowing doctors to treat it timely and effectively.