Colposcopic examination is one of the common methods for the diagnosis of gynecological diseases. Faced with such an appointment for the first time, women do not know how colposcopy of the cervix is performed, what it is, whether this procedure is painful and whether special preparation is needed for it. Meanwhile, this examination is an important tool for identifying a number of pathologies dangerous to health.
What is colposcopy in gynecology
Colposcopic examination is an examination of the walls of the vagina and the external part of the cervix, which is carried out using special optical equipment - a colposcope. This device is equipped with a special optical and lighting system, which provides an increase in the visibility of internal organs by 10-40 times, helping to conduct a thorough examination and even detect minor pathological changes that are invisible to the naked eye.
A more advanced equipment for conducting such a study is a video colposcope equipped with a digital camera. With its help, the image of the examined internal organs is displayed on the monitor. The results of video colposcopy are saved, and subsequently specialists can view them, analyzing the effectiveness of treatment or evaluating the progression of pathological processes.
Since colposcopy is used to diagnose many gynecological diseases, it has a large number of indications. This examination must be prescribed for unsatisfactory results of a smear analysis for cytology and if genital warts are detected during the examination. In addition, the doctor can recommend a woman colpo test in the presence of the following symptoms:
- prolonged pain in the lower abdomen;
- vaginal discharge, itching;
- vaginal bleeding that is not associated with menstruation;
- spotting and pain during intercourse.
Colposcopy can also be prescribed in the absence of obvious indications as an examination necessary to evaluate the results of the treatment. This procedure has no strict contraindications. The only limitation for its implementation is hypersensitivity to acetic acid, iodine preparations or other reagents that are used in advanced colposcopy.
For the first time going to colposcopy, women ask questions about how this procedure is done and whether it hurts. Colposcopy is performed after a general gynecological examination, which is carried out using mirrors and allows only a superficial examination of the cervix. After it, the gynecologist goes directly to colposcopy, examining the cervix into the lens of the colposcope using different magnification scales.
If only a visual examination of the internal organs is performed, colposcopy is considered simple, and when the doctor uses any additional tests to detect changes in the mucous membrane, this procedure option is called extended. If pathological areas are detected, a biopsy is performed - taking a fragment of the affected tissue for analysis.
Colposcopy of the cervix helps to detect vascular changes in the mucosa, accurately diagnose diseases such as endometriosis, ectopia, erythroplakia, dysplasia and leukoplakia, to study in detail the nature and stage of development of erosion or other lesions. With the help of colposcopy, a gynecologist can identify cancer pathologies in the early stages of development - malignant neoplasms.
When is better to do
What day of the cycle is colposcopy done? The recommended time for this procedure is the first half of the cycle, and it is best if it can be completed in the first 3-5 days after menstruation. During menstruation, such diagnostic tests are not prescribed. Colposcopy during pregnancy is not prohibited and can be prescribed at different times.
After learning about what are the features of colposcopy of the cervix, what it is and when they do the examination, it remains to figure out how to prepare for it. To make this diagnostic procedure as informative as possible, a few days before the visit to the gynecologist, you will need to follow some rules regarding intimate hygiene, taking medications and sexual activity. If the doctor prescribed a woman colposcopy, she needs to:
- at least 2 days before the procedure, refuse sex;
- during the week before the examination, do not douching, do not use special means for intimate hygiene;
- Refrain from using birth control creams, vaginal suppositories, or sprays, unless prescribed by a doctor who is aware of the upcoming procedure.
What is advanced colposcopy of the cervix
What are the features of an extended colposcopy of the cervix, what is it, and how are its results interpreted? After a visual examination, the doctor uses a swab to apply a little three percent solution of acetic acid to the cervix. Under its influence, the blood vessels in the mucous membrane narrow, and this makes any pathological changes more pronounced and noticeable.
In addition to acetic acid, for additional examination, iodine or special reagents that can glow under ultraviolet radiation can be used. If there are affected areas on the cervix, then when iodine is applied, they will not turn dark, which will allow the doctor to accurately identify their location and scale. When using other reagents, affected tissues can be dyed in a certain color under the light of an ultraviolet lamp.
After the procedure is completed, the specialist draws up a written protocol - a form that contains information about the features of the neck and the presence or absence of signs indicating the possible development of pathologies. The decoding of the results of colposcopy may contain descriptions of such anomalies as the formation of pathological vessels, the presence of whitened areas after treatment with acetic acid, the presence of areas that are not stained with iodine.
Colposcopy is a safe examination, does not cause such side effects and complications as pain or bleeding, does not require time to recover. In rare cases, after the procedure, mild pain in the lower abdomen or insignificant discharge with an iodine impurity content, which disappear after 2-3 days, may be observed.
Video: colposcopic examination
To learn more about colposcopy and methods for deciphering its results, special video materials will help. In them, experts disclose in detail information about the features of conducting this survey, give advice on preparing for it, and talk about all the stages of its conduct. After watching the video, the woman will not have any outstanding questions.
Svetlana, 27 years old. I was prescribed colposcopy because of suspected ectopia of the cervix. It didn’t hurt at all, only I experienced a little discomfort when the doctor moved the mirror, and nibbled a little while she applied iodine. In general, there is nothing wrong with this procedure, the degree of discomfort is the same as with a standard examination, and I spent no more than 15 minutes in the chair.
Irina, 32 years old. Thanks to colposcopy, progressive erosion was revealed to me on time. This procedure is often prescribed, but many do not pass it, so the disease remains undetected. At first I was also afraid, but I calmed down when I read the reviews. It really turned out not to hurt. It is better to be diagnosed than to encounter an incurable disease after a few years.
Olga, 28 years old. When I was examined at the antenatal clinic during pregnancy, the gynecologist discovered erosion. A few months after the birth, I decided to be examined, went to a paid clinic, there I was prescribed colposcopy. The price was acceptable, only 700 rubles. The procedure itself is quick, does not cause pain and does not need to wait long for the results.Attention! The information presented in the article is for guidance only. Materials of the article do not call for independent treatment. Only a qualified doctor can make a diagnosis and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.