Colposcopy is the examination of vagina, vulva, and cervix using an instrument known as a colposcope. The doctor prefers to head for colposcopy if the result of screening for abnormal cervical cells is abnormal. A colposcope is an electronic microscope with bright light. It helps the doctor to see the cervix and the cells with enhanced magnification. If there is any presence of abnormal growth or spots during the examination, the doctor collects a sample of tissue to perform a biopsy. It is common for an individual to feel anxious when the doctor asks for a colposcopy. However, understanding the procedure can ease the anxiety.
Why There Is A Need For Colposcopy?
A doctor can suggest colposcopy if:
- The patient experiences bleeding after intercourse
- The Pap smear outcome is unusual
- There is an abnormal growth in the vulva, vagina, and cervix
Performing the test is helpful in diagnosing genital warts, inflammation in the cervix region, and growth of abnormal cervical cells that lead to the development of cancer.
Preparation for Colposcopy
The preparation for colposcopy is simple. However, there are certain things that are patient should remember, which are:
- Asking the details about the test
- Speak with the doctor if chances of pregnancy are high
- Scheduling the test when the menstrual cycle is at low
- Not participating in intercourse for at least 48 hours before the test
- A few doctors recommend the use of pain reliever before the test
- It is essential to perform colon cleansing before the test
How the Doctor Conducts Colposcopy?
Before performing a colposcopy, the doctor injects anesthesia to the patient. The procedure involves:
- Lying back with the legs instead ups, which is similar to a pelvic examination
- The doctor will locate the colposcope at the required distance from the vulva and places a speculum in the vagina
- The doctor will use cotton immersed in the solution of vinegar to clean the cervix and vaginal region for mucus
- The colposcope does not touch the cervical region
- The doctor collects tissue to perform a biopsy if there are any suspicious regions observed during the colposcopy
- After completion of the test, the doctor applies a solution that helps in controlling the bleeding
Risks Associated With Colposcopy
Risks related to colposcopy are minimal. However, a few patients may complain:
- Bleeding that lasts for more than two weeks
- Bad smelling discharge from the vagina
- Pain in the pelvic region.
Is it Normal to Bleed for a Week after a Colposcopy?
Bleeding after completion of the test is common. However, if a patient experiences the bleeding for more than two weeks, it is necessary to reach out to the doctor and seek medical attention. It is also common for the individual to experience mild cramping and soreness in the vaginal region. If the doctor performs a biopsy, then it is preferable to keep away from the use of tampons, vaginal creams, and sexual intercourse. Apart from the test, it is necessary for the patient to continue with her regular gynecological consultancy according to the recommendation of the doctor.
As vaginal discharge is common after colposcopy, anything that lasts for more than six weeks or if the patient notices heavier bleeding, contacting colposcopy clinic is advisable. Excessive bleeding indicates the presence of an infection, which requires the use of antibiotics. Healing of the cramps and the cervical region requires at least six weeks. Following the instructions provided by the doctor after the completion of the test will be helpful in avoiding unwanted attention.
It is natural for a person to have bleeding after colposcopy for at least 6 weeks. However, if there is excessive bleeding that lasts longer than the usual period, contacting colposcopy clinic is necessary. In such instances, the doctor provides antibiotics, as the occurrence is the result of an infection.