It’s Cervical Screening Awareness Week!

At The Medical and Diagnostic Care Group, we work with NHS trusts to conduct vital elective procedures such as colposcopies. Since it’s CSAW, we’re focussing on raising awareness of cervical screenings and colposcopies so that you feel equipped with the knowledge to attend your procedures with confidence.

Let’s start with Cervical Screening…


What Happens During a Cervical Screening?

Cervical screening, also known as a smear test, is a simple and routine procedure that checks the health of your cervix. It’s a quick process where a small sample of cells is taken from your cervix using a soft swab. This sample is then tested for abnormal cells and human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cell changes. Rest assured, there’s really nothing to worry about when it comes to a smear test. The entire process takes around 5 minutes, and your nurse will be readily available to answer any questions you might have.

After the smear test, you will get your results within approximately 4 weeks, at which point you will either be asked to attend a colposcopy or given the all-clear.

When Might You Need a Colposcopy?

A colposcopy is recommended if your cervical screening results show:

  • Abnormal Cells: Finding abnormal cells in your cervical screening sample doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. However, it’s essential to investigate further to understand the nature of these changes.
  • HPV Infection: If you’re infected with HPV, it can cause abnormal cell changes that might lead to cancer over time. A colposcopy helps to examine these changes closely.
  • Inconclusive Screening Results: If several of your screening tests didn’t provide a clear result, a colposcopy can help in providing more definitive answers.
  • Appearance of the Cervix: If the nurse or doctor conducting your screening test noticed that your cervix doesn’t look as healthy as it should, a colposcopy will provide a more detailed examination.

What to Expect During a Colposcopy

There’s no need to be scared about undergoing a colposcopy. The procedure is straightforward and typically takes about 5 minutes. Here’s what happens:

  1. Preparation: You will lie on a special chair with leg supports, similar to the one used during a cervical screening.
  2. Examination: A device called a speculum is gently inserted into your vagina to keep it open, allowing the doctor or nurse to see your cervix clearly.
  3. Colposcope Use: A colposcope, which is a type of microscope, is used to closely examine your cervix. It doesn’t touch you or go inside you; it stays outside the vagina.
  4. Possible Biopsy: If any abnormal areas are identified, a small sample of tissue (biopsy) might be taken for further analysis. This can cause a brief pinching sensation, but it’s usually quick and manageable.


You’re in safe hands with us!

Since 2015, our Medical and Diagnostic Care Group has successfully carried out 56,000 colposcopy procedures. Our experienced team ensures that every patient receives the highest standard of care. If your cervical screening indicates you need a colposcopy, you can be confident that you are in safe and capable hands.