Colposcopy of the cervix: what it is, how it’s performed, the results


Undergo this procedure will be required once a year, and for women younger than 35 years old – once in 6 months. It is essential research, allowing to identify pathological changes at an early stage of development. What is a colposcopy of the cervix, why to do, how is, and how to prepare? About this in the article.

What is a colposcopy and why is it carried out?

Colposcopy – what is it and what is needed? This study of the condition of the cervix by using a special instrument, a colposcope. In the process of conducting the diagnostic procedure, the doctor under a microscope examines the surface of the organ by detecting the presence or absence of changes in the mucous membrane, blood vessels, capillaries. Minimum magnification of the colposcope is 2. If the need arises, the expert can increase the ratio to 40.

Colposcopy of the cervix, in addition to the routine inspection, shall be appointed in the following cases:

  • preliminary cytological analysis revealed the presence of dysplasia;
  • during a routine pelvic examination revealed visually altered areas on the neck;
  • if you suspect the presence of inflammation, polyps, warts, malignant transformation of cells, etc.

The indication for colposcopy is the control of the conducted treatment.

Who should not have a colposcopy?

Despite the fact that colposcopy is a procedure that does not harm, reliable, and safe (also needed), to its conduct there are contraindications. It is impossible to make a diagnosis of the cervix in the following cases:

  • in the first month after abortion;
  • 60 days after delivery;
  • 30 days after surgical interventions on the neck;
  • in case of intolerance of components of solutions used for inspection.

There are relative contraindications. Thus, the diagnosis is delayed, if available:

  • inflammatory manifestations;
  • bleeding;
  • atrophic changes in the epithelium of the outer part of the cervix.

When is the best time to do a colposcopy?

Often in women, the question arises, when is the best time to do a colposcopy? You need to keep in mind that the procedure is not carried out in the following days.

  • In the period of menstruation. At this time the epithelium exfoliated from the surface. It may prevent to see the changes on the mucous membrane or it can be mistaken for diseased tissue. This will lead to a wrong diagnosis.
  • Within 2-3 days after the release of an egg (ovulation). In these days there is increased production of mucus, which may also distort the picture.
  • The second half of the menstrual cycle. This limitation is due to the production of the hormone progesterone. The regenerative ability of cells is reduced, which may lead to the development of bleeding after the diagnosis.
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The result is the first half of the cycle. The most effective diagnostics will be carried out in a period of 2-3 days after menstruation up to ovulation.

The frequency of the procedure colposcopy is not limited.

Do I need to prepare for a colposcopy?

Many women are interested in the question of how to prepare for the diagnostics. Preparation for colposcopy of the cervix presents no special difficulties. All that is required is to avoid traumatizing the cervix factors. To this end, two or three days before the scheduled diagnostics it is necessary to abandon such actions as:

  • irrigation and injection of drugs;
  • the use of hygienic tampons;
  • sex.

In preparation for the colposcopy it is impossible to carry out a toilet of the vagina, sufficient hygiene of the external genitalia.

Does it hurt to have a colposcopy?

Often women get asked this question; does it hurt to have a colposcopy? The procedure is absolutely painless and is not harmful to health. It requires no prior anesthesia. Sometimes (when the expanded version of) gives an unpleasant feeling of tingling when applying the solution on the surface of the mucosa. If there is fear, increased anxiety before the procedure, immediately before the diagnosis, you can consult a doctor. He will give a sedative or anesthetic drug.

How is the procedure?

How do colposcopy of the cervix? Before diagnosing a patient sits in the gynecological chair. The doctor inserts a speculum and pre-purification of the cervix. Then, opposite the entrance to the vagina, installed diagnostic device – colposcope.

How is the procedure and how much time it takes, depends on its type: simple or advanced colposcopy. In the first case after the preliminary cleansing of the surface of the cervix is conducting her inspection without the use of special reagents. Under different magnification the doctor examines the changes of the epithelium, detects the presence of entities and so on.

How is the procedure of colposcopy of the cervix and what is its duration in extended diagnostics? The mucosal surface after a simple inspection of the processed special test reagents.

  • Acetic acid (3%). Applying to the epithelium of such a solution makes it possible to more clearly see the pathology in the area of the swelling of the blood vessels contract.
  • Lugol’s iodine (aqueous). Changed cells do not contain glycogen, so when applying them to the Lugol’s solution remain pale, while the normal colored brown.
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If necessary, the inspection process specialist pinch off pieces of tissue for biopsy of the cervix. After the specialist should conclude with a description.

How long can a colposcopy? Extended procedure will take a maximum of half an hour.

What to do after a colposcopy?

What to do after conducting colposcopic study depends on how it was conducted. If you used a simple technique, there are no restrictions in subsequent way of life there. To use medicines or special mode is not necessary. You can return to the usual rhythm of life from active work.

If colposcopy do in an extended version (especially with taking the material for biopsy analysis), after diagnostic bleeding for 1-3 days. Brownish discharge brown arise as residual effects after the use of iodine.

Sex, douching, the introduction of prohibited medications in 3-5 days.

If there is pain and bleeding affects 7 to 21 days. In this case, you should consult with your doctor, he will prescribe the necessary treatment to restore normal health.

Complications after a colposcopy

Colposcopy of the cervix is not dangerous for health. However, in some cases, difficulties may arise with the installation of a mirror or capture of the material. Among the rare complications of the study are:

  • pain syndrome of the abdomen;

  • the bleeding does not stop within three days;
  • temperature rise;
  • General weakness.

To the doctor should contact if symptoms persist for two days.

What pathology can be detected?

That shows a colposcopy? The results it gives can be good and bad.

  • Erosion. In this disease the epithelium has a bright scarlet. The mucous membrane of the fine-grained, wounded. Such violation occurs as a result of inflammation or injury. According to the statistics it is observed in one third of women.
  • Pseudo. Normal cervical canal is covered with columnar epithelium, and the cervix – stratified squamous. In case of detection of this pathology columnar epithelium replaces the flat. Violation of mucosal integrity is missing. The condition is caused by hormonal disbalance.
  • Polyps. During colposcopy the specialist can detect one or more polyps of different sizes. They are entities composed of cylindrical epithelium. Have a benign course, but in some circumstances can be reborn in cancer, so will be deleted.
  • Leukoplakia. As a result of the diagnosis on the cervix can be detected white area is easy to remove a piece of mucosa. It is dead skin cells that often go into cancer. The development of the disease is typical for patients of middle age.
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  • The endometriosis. In disorders of the endocrine system endometrial cells can travel from the uterus to other places, including on the neck. During the colposcopy the doctor detects the presence on its surface sublime area pink or bluish in color.
  • Carcinoma. Manifested in the form of mounds, which are clearly visible blood vessels. When the expanded colposcopy of the cervix, these areas did not react to the solutions. Carcinoma is a malignant disease.
  • Papilloma. It is pathological proliferation of cells of the cervix, similar to warts. Develop as a result of the presence in the body papillomavirus.

Colposcopy during pregnancy

The procedure is safe, so do it in the period when a woman is preparing to become a mother. Of course, to diagnose the state of the organ before pregnancy. However, in some cases it may be necessary and women in the state. For example, if hormonal changes during pregnancy can appear erosion.

The diagnosis by this method is safe both for the woman and for the unborn child. The only thing that takes place, it is the thinning of the mucous membrane of the cervix during this period. To avoid injury, the procedure should be performed in the gentlest way possible.

Thus, colposcopy is necessary and safe diagnostic study that allows you to save women’s health at any age.