Colposcopy

A colposcopy helps to detect abnormal cells in the neck of the womb or cervix.

Diagnosis using colposcopy

A colposcopy is an examination of the neck of the womb (the cervix). It is done to look at abnormal cells that have been discovered in a smear test. A speculum is used, as it is in a routine smear test, but the colposcope that is used will be outside your body so that your gynaecologist can see the cervix. Therefore, it is not usual to use any anaesthetic in the process. A solution is gently applied to the cervix that will highlight abnormal cells.

During the examination, a sample of the tissue may need to be taken for further analysis or the abnormal cells may be removed. It is not a painful procedure but you may feel some discomfort.

Any more than this and you should tell your gynaecologist or nurse straightaway. Should your gynaecologist need to perform any further treatment during the process such as heat treatment, after discussion with you, a local anaesthetic may be used.

What to expect during a colposcopy

As with a routine smear test, the procedure will take place in a private room on an examination chair and you will be required to remove your clothing from the lower part of your body before the examination begins.

A colposcopy is usually a safe procedure but a small number of women may experience some bleeding after the procedure. Rarely, an infection may occur but this can usually be treated with antibiotics.

Your gynaecologist will explain to you any risks that apply to the procedure you will be having before it takes place.

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Birmingham

Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

+44 (0)121 514 1185

Bristol

300 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4SY

+44 (0)1454 642801

Cambridge

Fordham Rd, Newmarket CB8 7XN, UK

+44 (0)1223 633 664

Chelmsford

Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

+44 (0)1245 676 351

Cromwell Hospital

164-178 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0TU, UK

+44 (0)203 613 9355

Elstree

Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ

+44 (0)203 613 9356

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BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3LX

+44 (0)1483 676 898

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17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

+44 (0)1732 386 599

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Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS

+44 (0)1908 448 166

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The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX

+44 (0)1156 762 989

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Peters Way, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6LB

+44 (0)1865 224 884

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Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA

+44 (0)23 9280 0102

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Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY

+44 (0)238 008 5138

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69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

+44 (0)1753 465 493