Colposcopy Perth


Colposcopy
at woom
A colposcopy is a quick gynaecological procedure that allows the doctor to examine your cervix. Typically, if abnormalities are reported on your cervical screening test (previously pap smear test), your GP will refer you to a colposcopy service. Here at woom, most of our gynaecologists perform colposcopies and they are done in our rooms in West Perth.
colposcopy perth
colposcopy perth

Colposcopy meaning

Why do I need a colposcopy?

Good question. If your cervical screening test (CST) indicates abnormal cell changes on the cervix, your GP will refer you to a specialist women’s health clinic, like woom, for a colposcopy.

Abnormal cell changes can be caused by a variety of reasons but the most common one is human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

colposcopy perth
colposcopy perth

There are over 100 different subtypes of HPV and the presence of some (16 and 18) require an immediate referral for a colposcopy whilst others can be monitored annually by your GP by doing repeated cervical screening tests.

Shital Julania
Dr Shital Julania

Gynaecologist Perth

It’s not just HPV that causes abnormal cell changes. There are other factors such as inflammation and hormonal changes. Another reason to be referred for a colposcopy is if you experience bleeding after intercourse.

The cervix is found at the top of the vagina and is the opening to the uterus. There is an area of cells at this opening called the ‘transformation zone’ where the cells change from one type to another as they go from the outside to the inside of the cervical canal. This transformation zone is susceptible to infection from the human papillomavirus, abnormal or premalignant cell changes and cervical cancer.

The National Cervical screening programme recommends women have a cervical screening test every 5 years or annually if HPV is detected starting at age 25. The primary purpose is to screen for precancerous changes, allowing for timely intervention and treatment.

HPV or human papillomavirus is like the common cold of sexual activity and affects both men and women. It is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal or oral sex.

There are many different subtypes of HPV, each with its own particular number. Strains of the virus are categorised into high-risk and low-risk based on their potential to cause cancer of the genital tract. High-risk HPV strains are responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers.

Preventative measures for HPV include vaccination and safe sexual practices. Vaccines are available to protect against certain types of HPV. They are typically administered in adolescence or early adulthood, ideally before your first sexual encounter.

Colposcopy procedure

Colposcopy in more detail
You will lie on your back with your legs in stirrups or footrests. Just like for a cervical screening test, our gynaecologist will place a speculum into your vagina to provide a clear view of the cervix.

We then position the colposcope, a special magnifying instrument, at the entrance to your vagina. Using a bright light, we will look through the lens of the colposcope, as if using binoculars. We may use some solutions (acetic acid and iodine) to make any areas of abnormality more visible through the colposcope.

anna clare gynaecologist Perth
Dr Anna Clare

Gynaecologist Perth

In some cases, we will take small tissue samples of cells that look abnormal (biopsy). These samples will be examined in the lab. We may also take some photographs to add to your records.

The entire procedure only takes about 15 minutes.

Does it hurt?

Some women find insertion of the speculum uncomfortable. Typically, relaxation of the legs and pelvis and deep breathing will help this.

If it is necessary to take small tissue samples, you may feel a short, sharp pain and afterwards you may experience a pelvic cramp similar to period pain. This might last for several minutes.

If a biopsy is taken, we advise not to use tampons or have intercourse for 24-48 hours.

Colposcopy biopsy

What to expect after the procedure?

Normally our gynaecologist will recommend a follow-up plan with your GP.

If a biopsy was taken and abnormal (premalignant) cells are detected, you may need treatment to remove those cells. The most common treatment is called a Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone or LLETZ.

This procedure can be done under a general or local anaesthetic in an operating theatre. The small segment of the transformation zone containing the abnormal cells is scooped out with a hot wire loop and the base is diathermied (or burnt/sealed) to prevent bleeding. You are able to go home the same day. Normally some discomfort is experienced at the time and for a few hours afterwards and simple analgesia is required.

Private colposcopy Perth

Colposcopy: private vs public
If you need a colposcopy, you can elect to see a gynaecologist privately or in the public system. Your GP will normally write a referral letter and forward it to the hospital or private colposcopy clinic.

The care that you receive in the private and public system should be of the same high quality. One of the main differences, however, is the wait time, which tends to be less in the private sector.

Dr Bernadette McElhinney
Dr Bernadette McElhinney

Gynaecologist Perth

Furthermore, you will see different doctors in the public system, including doctors in training, whereas you can nominate to see a particular doctor in the private system. Your care in the public system comes at no cost, unlike private. Most of the doctors at woom work in the public and private sector.
colposcopy perth
colposcopy perth

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5 reasons to choose woom for colposcopy
  1. Comprehensive approach: We offer a comprehensive, multidisciplinary colposcopy service involving gynaecologists, nurses and pathologists
  2. Experience: Our gynaecologists are accredited in colposcopy and have years of experience in treating and managing cervical abnormalities.
  3. Timeliness: You will be seen within 8 weeks of your referral
  4. Support: We prioritise patient comfort and always provide a supportive environment
  5. Continuity of care: Complex cases are discussed on a periodic basis with our multidisciplinary team

Perth gynaecologists for Colposcopies

Gynaecologists at woom
available to help me

Tamara Hunter
Dr Tamara Hunter

Perth gynaecologist

Dr Bernadette McElhinney
Dr Bernadette McElhinney

Perth gynaecologist

anna clare gynaecologist Perth
Dr Anna Clare

Perth gynaecologist

Shital Julania
Dr Shital Julania

Perth gynaecologist

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