Colposcopy Perth

Everything you need to know about a colposcopy procedure

Colposcopy Perth

In a nutshell

A colposcopy is a procedure that allows us to have a magnified view of your cervix, vagina and vulval areas. You need it when your cervical screening test (previously called pap smear) flags any abnormalities. Typically, your GP will suggest a colposcopy and refer you to a clinic like Perth Women’s Health. 

Reasons for a colposcopy

Why is a colposcopy needed?

If you have been told you need a colposcopy, it means that some abnormalities were detected during a routine cervical screening test (CST). 

There are a range of reasons why abnormal cell changes happen and the most common reason is an HPV infection or an infection from the human papillomavirus.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, but there’s a risk that these abnormal cells eventually turn into cervical cancer if not treated. If you’re invited for a colposcopy, it’s crucial to remember that it’s a preventive step and doesn’t always mean something is seriously wrong. It’s rare to find cervical cancer during the procedure.” 

Dr Padma Jatoth
Dr Padma Jatoth
Gynaecologist Perth

Other than HPV, there are other factors that may cause abnormal cell changes, such as inflammation or hormonal changes. When you’re bleeding after intercourse you also may be referred for a colposcopy. 

HPV or human papillomavirus is the name of a group of viruses and we test for it during a cervical screening. Most of the time, HPV is transmitted through sexual contact, including skin-to-skin contact of the genital area, vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Most of the time HPV does not cause any problems and many people wouldn’t even know they have it. Some strains are considered low-risk but other strains, high-risk strains, are responsible for most cervical cancers.

That’s why we recommend having a cervical screening test every 5 years. Early detection and monitoring can prevent the progression of high-risk HPV strains to cervical cancer, helping you stay healthy and giving you peace of mind.

Colposcopy Perth

Colposcopy Perth clinic near me

What to expect of the colposcopy procedure?

A colposcopy procedure is very similar to a cervical screening test (pap smear). You lay on your back with your legs in stirrups, and a speculum is gently inserted in your vagina. 

“You’re in the driver’s seat. We listen, explain every step, and always seek your go-ahead before moving forward with your colposcopy. Your comfort and understanding are our top priorities.”

Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Dr Soundaram Coundjidapadam
Perth gynaecologist
Once the speculum is in place, we position the colposcope in front of you to have a close look at your cervix.

“It’s a very short procedure; it takes about 15 minutes. The colposcope is a tool that helps us magnify the area we want to examine. It won’t touch you; it’s positioned between your legs. Sometimes, we use acetic acid (a mild vinegar solution) and iodine that allows us to see abnormal cells more clearly.” 

Dr Padma Jatoth
Dr Padma Jatoth
Gynaecologist Perth

If we detect an abnormal cell change, we may take a small sample of tissue (a biopsy). This will then be examined in the lab by a pathologist. 

Just like a pap smear test, you may feel uncomfortable when we insert the speculum. That’s normal. We will make sure to make you feel at ease. We recommend taking deep breaths if you feel nervous or anxious.

It’s good to know that if a biopsy is taken, you better not use tampons or have intercourse 24 to 28 hours after the procedure.

It is a short procedure, you are in control, we listen to you, we explain all the way through the procedure, we ask you before proceeding with each step of the colposcopy.

Colposcopy Perth

LLETZ procedure Perth

What happens if abnormal cells are detected?

If abnormal cells are detected, you may need another procedure to remove them. The most common procedure is called LLETZ or Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone. 

We perform this procedure in an operating theatre at St John of God Murdoch Hospital, under local or general anaesthesia. We use a heated wire loop to remove abnormal cells from the cervix and to prevent them from turning into cancer.

Post-procedure, there’s usually some discomfort, which can be managed with simple pain relief.

Women’s health clinic Perth

Perth Women’s Health for colposcopy​

We understand that waiting for results can be stressful. With minimal waiting times, you can quickly get the answers and peace of mind you need. 

At Perth Women’s Health, our gynaecologists bring a wealth of expertise, having studied at esteemed institutions like JIPMER and AIIMS New Delhi and being trained internationally in London.

And perhaps the most important reason to see a doctor at Perth Women’s Health is our genuine empathy and personalised attention for each woman. We deeply understand your concerns and always try to make you feel at ease.

Perth Women's Health

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