You may be offered a colposcopy if your cervical screening (smear test) finds abnormal cells in your cervix. Cervical screening is a way of preventing cancer by detecting and treating abnormalities early.

What is a colposcopy?

A colposcopy is a simple procedure where the surface of the cervix is examined using a light powered magnifying instrument, called a colposcope.

The colposcope will not touch your body, but a speculum will be inserted to gently open your vagina.

A specialist called a colposcopist will perform the procedure, to check the cells on the surface of the cervix for abnormalities.

We may also take small samples of tissue (a biopsy) for further analysis in a laboratory.

Why you have been offered a colposcopy

You may be offered a colposcopy if the results of your cervical screening (smear test) show that there are abnormal changes in the cells of your cervix.

You may also be offered a colposcopy to investigate the following:

  • unexplained vaginal bleed, for example after vaginal sex
  • an inflamed cervix
  • unexplained pelvic pain

Our clinics

The Gloucestershire colposcopy service holds clinics at:

  • Cheltenham General Hospital
  • Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
  • Cirencester Hospital
  • Stroud General Hospital

You can contact us for more information at 0300 422 2914.

Read our patient information leaflet

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