Colposcopy Melbourne

Colposcopy

A colposcopy is a procedure to examine your cervix. If your cervical screening test (previously called pap smear test) shows abnormalities, your GP will refer you for a colposcopy. At Melbourne Mothers, we perform colposcopies in our rooms or if needed in an operating theatre with anaesthetic. 

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What is a colposcopy?

Why do I need a colposcopy?

If your cervical screening test (CST) shows abnormal cell changes on the cervix, your GP will refer you to a specialist women’s health clinic, like Melbourne Mothers, for a colposcopy. 

Most often, these changes are due to a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. With over 100 types of HPV, some (like types 16 and 18) require immediate attention, while others can be monitored over time with regular screening tests.

“It’s not just HPV that causes abnormal cell changes. Inflammation and hormonal changes can also be factors. Another reason to be referred for a colposcopy is if you experience bleeding after intercourse.” 

Colposcopy Melbourne
Colposcopy Melbourne

Colposcopy procedure

What happens during a colposcopy?

During the procedure, you’ll lie on your back with your legs in stirrups or footrests. We will use a speculum to gently open your vagina, similar to a cervical screening test, to get a clear view of your cervix. 

The colposcope, which is like a large microscope, is then positioned at the entrance of your vagina. This allows us to examine your cervix closely, using a bright light. We might apply solutions (like acetic acid and iodine) to highlight any abnormal areas.

“In some cases, we will take small tissue samples of cells that look abnormal (biopsy). These samples will be examined in the lab.” 

The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes. 

What to expect afterwards?

We will usually recommend a follow-up plan with your GP. If a biopsy was taken and abnormal (premalignant) cells are found, you might need treatment to remove those cells. The most common treatment is called a Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone (LLETZ). 

This procedure can be done under general or local anaesthetic in an operating theatre. The small segment of the transformation zone containing the abnormal cells is removed with a hot wire loop, and the area is sealed to prevent bleeding. You’ll be able to go home the same day, though you might have some discomfort for a few hours. Simple pain relief usually helps.

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Colposcopy Melbourne Mothers

Why choose Melbourne Mothers for colposcopy?

At Melbourne Mothers, our team is highly experienced. 

“We have years of expertise in managing cervical abnormalities and understand how stressing an abnormal cervical screening test may be. That’s why one of the first things we always tell our patients is that an abnormal test result does not mean you have cancer.” 

We understand the importance of timely care, which is why you will be seen within one to two weeks of your referral. 

To request an appointment, click here.