What is colposcopy?
The test is distinguished by high sensitivity and specificity. An additional advantage of colposcopy is the lack of complications and safety. It can be performed in women of all ages and during pregnancy. It is the safest to have the test done in the first trimester, but it can also be done in the later weeks. The effectiveness of the examination is limited by a patient who has undergone surgery on the reproductive system. The primary goal of colposcopy is to detect neoplastic changes.
This is especially important in the case of cervical cancer, as early diagnosis is practically a one hundred percent guarantee for a cure. Colposcopy also allows to detect HPV infection with human papillomavirus, bacterial vaginosis, cancerous, viral and fungal infections of the genital tract. Colposcopy is performed to plan the procedure and surgical intervention. The examination is especially effective in combination with cytology.
Colposcopy in Poland, is it worth it?
Colposcopy is usually ordered by a gynecologist when a patient has an abnormal Pap test. Vaginal lesions, cervical polyps, contact spots and severe inflammation may also be an indication for examination. Colposcopy also makes it possible to identify the presence of HPV, which is sometimes the cause of cervical cancer. Women are also sent to the test for control purposes. Colposcopy determines whether you are dealing with a bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection of the genital tract.
Besides, if you want to:
- Perform prophylaxis quickly and painlessly,
- Know the results right after the test,
- Detect any neoplastic changes,
And you also care about safety during the examination, colposcopy is the perfect solution to these kinds of issues!
Colposcopy is recommended to be performed between the 10th and 20th day of the menstrual cycle. It must be remembered that the examination date should not be at the time of bleeding. A few days before the colposcopy, a woman should not irrigate the vagina and have sexual intercourse. Thanks to this, the test result will be reliable. On the day of colposcopy, the patient should take all regular medications, except those given vaginally.
Before a colposcopy is performed, cytology is often performed to increase the sensitivity of the examination. Colposcopy is short and not very complicated – it is performed on a gynecological chair. A specialist will insert a self-holding speculum to see the vaginal part of the cervix. Then the gynecologist brings the optical device (colposcope) closer to the vagina and carefully examines the epithelium and blood vessels. The doctor examines the woman’s genitals very carefully and can tell from the appearance of the discharge whether it is normal or if there are infections.
The next step is to wash the cervix with 0.9% saline to remove vaginal mucus and perform a second inspection. Acetic and iodine tests are also carried out during the test. They consist of washing the cervix with a 3% solution of acetic acid and Lugol’s solution. This is to detect changes that are invisible to the naked eye. Such action allows detecting any irregularities and determining the location of changes.
If, during the examination, the doctor notices anything disturbing, he may take a sample for histopathological examination. If the gynecologist has not decided to have a biopsy, the patient receives the result immediately after the examination, which takes several minutes. There are no specific recommendations for post-examination management as it is non-invasive and painless.
The examination must be performed by a physician with appropriate qualifications and experience. Only well-equipped facilities have expensive devices that enable colposcopy to be performed.
Advantages of colposcopy
Colposcopy is a test that has many advantages. The most important ones include:
- Rational diagnostic procedure – the gynecologist may limit himself only to taking samples of suspicious lesions of their greatest intensity. Precise localization of the lesion boundaries enables determining the proper scope of treatment and avoiding the removal of the excess of normal cervical tissues.
- High accuracy – unlike conventional cytological examination, colposcopy is distinguished by high accuracy in the diagnosis of precancerous conditions – 85%.
- Painless and safe – the examination is non-invasive and painless. It takes a few minutes and can be watched on the screen.
Colposcopy is a quick examination that does not require special preparation. It enables the detection of neoplastic changes, which is especially important in the case of cervical cancer. Early diagnosis gives practically a one hundred percent guarantee of cure. Colposcopy also reveals HPV and other serious infections of the genital tract. The examination detects not only cervical cancer, but also many other changes caused by fungal, bacterial, protozoal and viral infections.
The colposcopic examination allows the doctor to limit himself only to deliberate samples of suspicious lesions of their greatest intensity. This makes it possible to avoid the removal of excess normal cervical tissue. Removal of large fragments of the cervix or its unskillful mutilation should not happen. Cervical diseases are not visible to the naked eye, which is why it is so important that the doctor performs a colposcopy before any surgery on the cervix, which eliminates the possibility of misdiagnosis.
Colposcopy is an important step during the procedure to verify abnormalities in cytological results and qualify for a planned biopsy. The examination is non-invasive, painless and takes only a few minutes. A woman can immediately return to her daily activities, and a sick leave after a colposcopy is issued by a doctor very rarely. It usually concerns only the day when it took place. There are no contraindications, not to be able to return to work immediately after the examination. The test result can be formulated immediately after its completion. After the examination, the patient receives photos that she can verify with the doctor. Colposcopy can be performed many times safely, even in pregnant women.
If you are looking for a method that will allow you to quickly detect dangerous neoplastic changes in the reproductive system, then the colposcopy examination is a proposal tailored to your expectations!