Many women feel nervous at the thought of undergoing a colposcopy, which is a cervical examination usually performed following an abnormal cervical smear. A colposcopy will allow your doctor to get a better look at your cervix using a colposcope- a small magnifying device which will not enter your body. Your doctor may also take a small sample of abnormal cells from your cervix for further testing.
It’s normal to feel a few jitters before any medical examination, but a colposcopy is nothing to fear. Today, it’s time to bust a few myths about the humble colposcopy so that you know the facts about this straightforward procedure.
Myth: I will only need a colposcopy if something is wrong
This isn’t true at all. In fact, in about 4 in every 10 cases, the results of your colposcopy will show that nothing is wrong at all. In those other 6 cases, many are women who have abnormal cells which will return to normal without treatment. Most women who undergo a colposcopy do not have cervical cancer – so don’t panic.
Myth: Colposcopies are painful
Colposcopies can be performed under a local anaesthetic, so they shouldn’t hurt. You may feel some small, mild discomfort, but nothing more. It is comparable to the regular cervical smears that you’ve had before.
If you do have abnormal cervical cells, you may undergo treatment to have these cells removed using a heated wire loop. This takes only a few minutes and is also performed under a local anaesthetic.
Myth: I will bleed a lot after a colposcopy
This should not be the case. While it’s normal to experience some light discharge and bleeding after the examination, any heavier bleeding is not expected and should be brought to your doctor’s attention immediately. You may bleed a little longer, for up to four weeks, if you’ve had treatment. You should also avoid using tampons, swimming, and intercourse for the month following your treatment.
While colposcopies couldn’t exactly be described as pleasant, they aren’t as bad as many women fear, and they save lives every day.
If you’re concerned or have questions about a smear test result or want to discuss undergoing a colposcopy, please don’t hesitate to contact Tania Adlib for more information.