What is a Colposcopy ?

Colposcopy is a simple examination that allows the Doctor or Nurse to look carefully at the cervix (neck of the womb). The cervix is viewed using a speculum (the instrument needed for your smear to be taken) and then examined with the colposcope at low magnification. The Doctor or Nurse will put a number of different solutions on the cervix and look for changes that may indicate the presence or otherwise of pre-cancerous changes.

The majority of women that we see in the department are referred because of an abnormal smear, but some attend with problems such as bleeding after intercourse or because their cervix looks unusual.

The Colposcopy clinics are run by Consultants, the Colposcopy Nurse Specialist and the Colposcopy Nurses. We recognise that attending the Colposcopy clinic can be a very anxious time. There is always a nurse who stays with the woman during her examination.

As we regularly teach medical students and train our trainees in this specialised field, there is a possibility of one of them being present at consultation if you consent.

Our service provides

  • Colposcopy
  • Cervical Biopsy
  • Loop diathermy excision (LLETZ)
  • Cold coagulation
  • Cervical smear (if indicated)
  • Vulvoscopy

Most patients are referred directly from the cytology laboratory. These patients will receive a Colposcopy appointment which is made by the secretarial team. General Practitioners can also refer to Colposcopy via a direct paper referral. Depending on the urgency of the referral, you will be seen between 2 and 6 weeks of the date of referral. At the time of referral it should be ensured that any pre-referral investigations are completed as indicated according to the BSCCP guidelines. Colposcopy is not part of the Choose and Book service.

We have a monthly Colposcopy Multidisciplinary Meeting (MDT) which is held on the first Tuesday of the month. This meeting is held to discuss any discrepancies and concerns. Gynaecology Consultants, Consultant Pathologists, Cytologists, Trainees, Nursing team and Secretarial team are present at these meetings.