What is Colposcopy?

Colposcopy is a diagnostic procedure in Singapore used to examine your cervix (the lower part of your uterus) and the wall of your vagina more closely with a special instrument called a colposcope– a lighted microscope. If your obstetrician/gynaecologist notices any abnormality during the procedure, they may take tissue samples, a process known as biopsies, that will be sent to a lab to test for cancerous or precancerous cells.
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How does a Colposcopy work?

During a colposcopy, you will lie on an examination table and a speculum will be inserted into your vagina for a better view of your cervix. Your obstetrician/gynaecologist will then use a colposcope, a lighted magnifying instrument, to examine your cervix and vagina walls. This instrument will not enter your body but it is positioned near the opening of your vagina.
The colposcope provides a magnified view of your cervix and vaginal walls which will help your obstetrician/gynaecologist identify any abnormalities. A solution may be applied to highlight any abnormal cells and/or biopsies may be taken (this involves removing a small piece of tissue).
The entire procedure may take anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes.

Benefits of Colposcopy procedure in Singapore

  • Early detection of abnormal cervical or vaginal tissue
  • Evaluation of abnormal Pap smear  test results
  • Identification of precancerous or cancerous cells
  • Monitoring of known cervical or vaginal abnormalities
  • Opportunity for timely intervention and management of potential health concerns

What conditions can a Colposcopy treat in Singapore?

A colposcopy can be used to treat the following conditions:
  • Dysplasia (abnormal cervical cells)
  • Cervical cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Genital warts (caused by human papillomavirus, HPV)
  • Inflammation or infection of the cervix or vagina

What can I expect after Colposcopy procedure in Singapore?

A colposcopy can yield varying results depending on the findings.
Some possible outcomes you may expect include:
  • Normal results: if no abnormal tissue is found during the colposcopy, it means that your cervix and vaginal wall appear healthy and no further treatment is needed. Your obstetrician/gynaecologist may recommend regular screenings in the future to monitor your cervical health.
  • Abnormal results: if abnormal tissue is detected, biopsies may be taken for further analysis. The results of these biopsies will help determine the appropriate treatment, if necessary. It is important to follow-up with your obstetrician/gynaecologist to discuss the results and any recommended additional steps.
  • Precancerous or cancerous cells: if the biopsies reveal precancerous or cancerous cells, further evaluation and treatment will be needed to manage the condition. Your obstetrician/gynaecologist will discuss treatment options with you and develop a plan tailored to your specific situation.

How many treatment sessions are needed?

The number of colposcopy sessions needed varies depending on your specific situation. In some cases, a single colposcopy is sufficient for evaluation and diagnosis.
If further treatment is required, additional sessions may be necessary. Ultimately, the number of sessions needed will depend on factors such as the presence of abnormal tissue, the extent of your condition, and the recommended treatment plan.

Frequently asked questions

Is it painful to have a colposcopy?

You may experience minimal discomfort during a colposcopy, but it is relatively painless. When the speculum is inserted into your vagina, you may feel slight pressure and you may feel a mild stinging sensation when the solution touches your cervix. If a biopsy is necessary, small samples will be taken from your cervix and you may feel a brief sharp pinch when a tissue sample is removed.

Does the cervix heal after a colposcopy?
After a colposcopy, it typically takes 4 to 6 weeks for your cervix to heal. To lower the risk of infection during this healing period, it is recommended to abstain from sexual intercourse and refrain from using tampons. Additionally, it is advisable to take showers rather than baths during this period following a colposcopy procedure. These precautions aim to support the healing process and minimise the chance of any complications.
What is the next step after a colposcopy?
It is common for women to undergo a colposcopy once a year until 2 consecutive tests show negative results. When this happens, most women can transition into having the screening test once every 5 years. This regular screening schedule aims to monitor and ensure the health of your cervix, providing timely detection of any potential abnormalities or changes.

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