Colposcopy Overview: Everything you need to Know about it
With the arrival of the pap smear test, many womens have benefited from the screening as it has helped them in identifying the lurking diseases. Cervical cancer has become the number one cause for women’s health and it needs to be diagnosed early in order to protect their lives. The pap smear test looks for any abnormal changes in your cervix that helps in further diagnosing the recurring problems in your cells. These signs are actually very important in knowing if you might have the disease in the near future.
A pap smear can only detect for the changes in your cells, colposcopy is an intense study on the changed cells. It’s a thorough diagnostic process of your cervix that can study the abnormal vessels under the microscope which is known by the name of colposcope. This colposcopy has helped many women in rectifying the strange thing underneath their tissue which could have been hidden for many years if they had no test for that.
Today’s test has become very easy! When you think you might have cervical cancer, you can just get in touch with the Colposcopy clinic in London and rest is assured by the service of the clinic.
A pap test isn’t accurate enough to detect the problem. If you have got an abnormal pap test result, it doesn’t mean you have the disease. An abnormal report is very common and hence must not be taken as so seriously. That’s why further tests are done to be better sure of the fact that you have the disease. In fact, 10% of pap tests have always shown an abnormal report. It has been reported that women who have had their pap test abnormal, had their colposcopy totally normal during their follow up.
What happens is, during these tests when the provider tries to confirm whether you have the disease, your immune system will get clear off with these cells on their own. The census for women getting the disease after their abnormal pap test is very low. It was in 2012 when around 12,000 women were caught with cervical cancers and they had no access to pap testing.
Why do you need a Colposcopy?
Your provider may recommend you for another test after the pap smear test result and that is colposcopy. The reason for such could be:
- When you have two pap tests in a row that will signify a higher risk for HPV then your provider might ask for a colposcopy. This further and additional test will show that the strains of HPV aren’t matching up with that of your pap test.
- When you have got abnormal cervical cells that have a higher risk for HPV then your doctor may recommend you for an additional follow up visit where you will be taken for the colposcopy test. During this process, your doctor will have a closer analysis of the cervical cells in order to find out the changes since you had the last exam.
- When your pap test comes as “high grade”, your provider will ask you for the colposcopy. They will keep an eye on your pap result that might have considerable changes over the course of analysis.
- When you have an abnormal pap result after you have had your previous colposcopy. This will be compared later on with that of your previous colposcopy. This will ensure if you have had any abnormal result in the new test.
Do we need Colposcopy?
Colposcopy becomes important only if you had abnormal results in your pap smear test. Often times you will have an abnormal test but you may end up with nothing. A pap test is not the weapon to detect cervical cancer. It’s just a means of knowing if you have had any changes in your cervix that might lead to abnormal report. Hence, colposcopy might be needed during those times.
What is all about the Repetition?
Pap test can be taken as a screening method but colposcopy is an entire diagnostic process whereby a provider will get hold of your samples in the lab for further diagnosis of the abnormal cells. This further and additional step helps in rectifying the actual cause of the changed cells. So you might be put on a repeated pap test for the diagnosis of the actual threat (if you have any).
Mild changes in cells are totally normal but a vast change might bring on some new information. That’s why a repeated test is done to check for the major changes if it had gone throughout the course of detection. These repetition is required to know if you have any cancerous cells in your body.
What exactly is a Colposcope?
It is a huge microscope thing that tests or looks for those abnormal cells in your cervix. Though a pap test also does the same thing but a colposcopy is a much deeper analysis of what changed cells have been going through. This machine is not used on the body of a woman, nor it is taken inside the vagina.
It’s just a study done under the microscope but this machine is specifically made to study on the cell growth of the cervix. It helps in magnifying the cervix that your provider will get to know if you have had any changes in the layers of the tissue. You will get the treatment done from the best colposcopy clinic in london.
What to expect at times of Colposcopy?
Just like a lot of women panic about the pap test, similarly many women do fear about the next test for colposcopy. They have a misconception about colposcopy that leads many women to go to trauma while they are asked for another test of colposcopy. As mentioned above, colposcopy is nothing but an advanced search into the cell growth to test if you have cervical cancer or not. The procedure is very simple and quick. It takes only about 10-15 minutes max but you have to take some extra time out for the appointment as you will have to go through some other process as well.
Before the beginning of the entire procedure, you will be asked many questions and likewise you can ask if you have any doubt. A pregnancy urine test is also done before the colposcopy. You will have to bend just like the way you did while having a pap smear test. Your provider will then go on in studying the cervical cells with the help of this colposcope. A speculum will be used to expose your cervix as it is not easily visible without opening your vagina a little bit.
A saline or some liquid gel is used to diagnose the abnormal cells more quickly. The provider might even take a small sample from your cervix which will help him for further analysis. Because the sample is taken from a little interior region of your vagina, you may have some sort of period type cramps for a few days but make sure it must be only for a few days. If the pain increases or doesn’t stop at all, you are totally free to call your gynaecologist.
Is there a need for Preparation?
Preparation is not so big but yes you might need some type of before ready process that will help you get the test more quickly without any doubts.
- When you come for the appointment, make sure you have filled your bladder. This will be easier for the provider to get your urine pregnancy test as quickly as possible. If you think you might be pregnant, please inform your doctor.
- Prior to the test make sure you haven’t inserted anything inside your vagina, likewise your doctor will also warn you to use any tampons or use any type of vaginal products. Avoid having vaginal intercourse at least for 48 hours. These actions might hamper the test result and will show an abnormal report which would spoil the main reason for having the test.
- If you want to avoid any type of pain or discomfort, you can take an ibuprofen which is easily available over the counter. A 600-800 mg is totally fine. But make sure you had this medicine just one hour before the procedure actually begins. You can also talk to your doctor and tell them about your anxiety or discomfort. He may prescribe you with some better options depending upon your fear.
How to prepare yourself after Colposcopy?
- Avoid having sexual contact with your partner at least for 5 days after the colposcopy has done.
- Avoid bathing after the procedure at least for 72 hours. You are allowed to have showering.
- If you see some type of gritty brown substance coming out from your vagina then this is the same substance used for the medication during your biopsy. Your doctor may also warn you to not use tampons during these times.
Conclusion, colposcopy has been an awesome method in knowing the abnormal growth of your cervical cells. It has helped many women in rectifying the lurking cancer in their body. There are many clinics that provide full treatment. Get your colposcopy treatment from the Medical Express Clinic.
Alice is the man behind this health blog. She is a physician and the founder of this must-read blog. Believe it or not, she started her journey from being an ordinary physician to building this blog from scratch. She shares reliable health and nutrition advice in his blog to help you follow a healthy lifestyle. Follow her on his (socials).
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