Treatments and tests

Colposcopy

Terms explained

Colposcopy – is a test that is used to look at the cervix.

A colposcopy is done in a clinic room and does not require any special preparation or anaesthetic.

The procedure is similar to a Cervical Screening Test. During a colposcopy a specialist (colposcopist) will insert a speculum into your vagina and will then look at your cervical cells with an instrument called a colposcope. A colposcope is a special microscope that allows the specialist to view the cells of the cervix.

A special solution will then be applied to your cervix to highlight any abnormal cells. Depending on the degree of abnormality of the cells the specialist may or may not take a small tissue sample (cervical biopsy).

The sample is sent to the laboratory where it is analysed for any cervical abnormality. Your healthcare provider will make a plan with you for notifying you of the results. Based upon the cervical biopsy result the specialist will advise you of necessary follow-up and/or treatment.

If the specialist feels a biopsy is not necessary they will tell you this and recommend a follow-up plan for other tests and/or another colposcopy.


Acknowledgements

WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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