Abnormal Pap Smears

Pap smears are designed as a screening test for cervical pre-cancerous conditions. They do not detect uterine or ovarian cancers. As the Pap smear is a screening test, it indicates that there may be an abnormality, but a colposcopy is often required to confirm the site and nature of the abnormality.


A colposcopy is a medical procedure that allows your healthcare provider to closely examine your cervix, vagina, and vulva for any signs of abnormalities. Here's a breakdown of what happens during a colposcopy:

  1. Preparation: You will be asked to lie down on an examination table, similar to what you do during a pelvic exam. Your healthcare provider will insert a speculum into your vagina to gently open it, allowing them to see your cervix more clearly.
  2. Visual Examination: Your healthcare provider will then use a special magnifying instrument called a colposcope to examine your cervix. The colposcope remains outside your body and does not touch you.
  3. Vinegar Solution: Before looking through the colposcope, your healthcare provider may apply a vinegar (acetic acid) solution to your cervix. This solution helps to highlight any abnormal areas by causing them to turn white.
  4. Biopsy (if necessary): If your healthcare provider sees any suspicious areas during the colposcopy, they may take a small sample of tissue from those areas for further examination. This is called a biopsy. It's a quick procedure and you might feel a slight pinch or discomfort, but it's usually not painful.
  5. After the Procedure: After the colposcopy, you may experience some mild spotting or cramping, which is normal and should go away quickly. Your healthcare provider will discuss the results of the colposcopy and any necessary follow-up steps with you.

The main reasons for having a colposcopy include abnormal Pap smear results, HPV infection, genital warts, or unexplained vaginal bleeding. It's a routine procedure that helps your healthcare provider assess the health of your cervix and detect any potential issues early on, which can be crucial for effective treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about the colposcopy procedure, don't hesitate to discuss them with your medical practitioner at WOMEN Centre. They are there to ensure your comfort and well-being throughout the process.

Our Services / Gynaecologic Oncology