Colposcopy Clinic - what happens here

This page gives you information about the Colposcopy Clinic and what happens if you need to attend.

Why do I have to go to the Colposcopy Cinic?Show [+]Hide [-]

You will have to go to the Colposcopy Clinic if you have had a smear test, and the result of your smear test shows that you need to have another test.

Your results have shown you may have some abnormal cells. The cells may become cancer. Cancer is a very serious illness.

You will have to come to the Colposcopy Clinic so we can have a look at your cervix.

We will send you a letter with the date and time of your appointment. If you cannot come, please telephone the hospital.

You can come with a friend, relative or support worker.

What is a Colposcopy?Show [+]Hide [-]

A Colposcopy is an examination by a Doctor or specialist Nurse (colposcopist). They will look at your cells on your cervix.

The Colposcopist will use an instrument called a colposcope. It looks like a pair of binoculars on a stand. It looks up your vagina to your cervix. It does not go inside your vagina.

If you feel nervous you can visit the Colposcopy clinic first. You can meet the Doctors and Nurses.

You can get to the Colposcopy clinic by bus, a taxi or travel by car. If you require hospital transport you can arrange this with your doctor’s surgery before your appointment.

At the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) main entrance to the New Victoria Wing, follow the signs to the Women’s Health Unit, level 2 behind the café.

When you get to clinicShow [+]Hide [-]

You will meet the receptionist. Give her your appointment letter. They will ask your name, address and date of birth.

You will be asked to sit in the waiting room. The Nurse will call your name and take you to see the Colposcopist.

The Colposcopist will sit and talk to you. They will ask you some questions. They will ask when you had your last period.

You will then go to another room where the Nurse will ask you to take off your trousers or skirt and knickers and put on a hospital gown.

There will be a lot of equipment in the room. You will be asked to sit on a special bed with your legs up in stirrups.

The examinationShow [+]Hide [-]

You may have someone with you during the examination. There will be a Colposcopist and a Nurse.

The Colposcopist will put a 'speculum' (a tool for investigating orifices of the body) inside your vagina. This is the same as when you had your smear test done.

The Colposcopist will dab some liquids onto your cervix. This will show the abnormal cells on your cervix. The Colposcopist will look at the cells using the colposcope.

The Colposcopist may need to take a sample of cells from your cervix. This is called a punch biopsy. A biopsy can sometimes hurt a bit.

The sample will be sent by the Nurse to the laboratory. The result of the biopsy will let the Colposcopist know if you need treatment.

You might bleed a little after the colposcopy. This is normal. Wear a sanitary towel.

If you have had a biopsy taken you should not have sex for five days, or until any bleeding stops.

You should feel well enough to go home after the colposcopy. The Colposcopist will write to you with the results. This might take six weeks

More informationShow [+]Hide [-]

If you have any questions you can contact Colposcopy Sister Jilly Goodfellow.

Contact colposcopy on:

Women’s Health Unit
Level 2
New Victoria Wing
Royal Victoria Infirmary

Leaflet for printing

You can also download the information on this page as a leaflet for printing.pdf.

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