Colposcopy is an examination that consists, for the gynecologist, to directly visualize the cervix, by natural means. It allows a detailed analysis of the cervix, following a smear whose result shows abnormalities.
Be careful, colposcopy should not be confused with ... colonoscopy (an examination that allows you to explore the intestine).
What is the use of colposcopy?
It allows to search for any precancerous lesions due to papillomavirus (HPV virus), present on the cervix, and to direct the biopsy samples. Precancerous states are not visible to the naked eye. Also, is it essential to use dyes to distinguish pathological areas, so that the gynecologist can identify and remove them?
What is a biopsy?
The biopsy, performed during colposcopy, consists of taking one or more fragments of the lining of the cervix which will then be sent to the laboratory for analysis.
It is the biopsy that will allow the exact diagnosis of the anomaly detected by the smear. Biopsies on a cervix are always performed under colposcopic vision.
When to do colposcopy?
Colposcopic examination is indicated when the smear has revealed certain abnormalities (suspicion of precancerous lesions). Colposcopy can be performed at any time during the menstrual cycle, except during menses.
It can not be performed if the patient has a vaginal or uterine infection. Indeed, an infection could create false pathological images. It will therefore be necessary to treat it before colposcopy.
The performance of colposcopy is worse as the patient gets older. In postmenopausal women, before colposcopic examination, a short hormonal treatment may be prescribed to help open the cervix for better observation.