Monday, January 25, 2010

Colposcopy

Warning: This post might be a lil 'gross and disturbing' for those who are not familiar with the female health problems.
Readers' discretion advised.


Remember my Pap smear in Nov 09? Well...here's the follow up after my 2nd round of it as advised by my gynae after my anti-inflammatory medication.....

This is what I'm going to go through at the hospital tomorrow afternoon...I'll let the article (adapted from the web -  Colposcopy) do the explanation...

One of the most frightening times in a woman's life is when the gynecologist calls and says her Pap smear results are abnormal. Although you might think an abnormal Pap smear means you have cervical cancer, the fact is that the majority of abnormal Pap smears are not caused by cervical cancer. The more likely cause of abnormal Pap smear results is inflammation or a vaginal infection.



Because the Pap smear is a screening tool and not a diagnostic tool, your gynecologist may want to take a closer look at your cervix to determine the cause of your abnormal Pap smear results. He will perform an examination called a colposcopy. Your doctor may order this procedure if you have Pap smear results which:


•indicate dysplasia or cancer



•show evidence of HPV


•show atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) or repeated (ASCUS)


Your gynecologist may also order a colposcopy because your cervix appears abnormal during your pelvic exam and Pap smear, or if you have a history of prenatal DES exposure.






Colposcopy is a simple and painless procedure performed in a gynecologist's office that takes 10 to 15 minutes. You are positioned on the examination table like you are for a Pap smear, and an acetic acid (such as common table vinegar) is placed on the cervix. This causes the cervical cells to fill with water so light will not pass through them.






Your physician will use a colposcope to view your cervix. A colposcope is a large, electric microscope that is positioned approximately 30 cm from the vagina. A bright light on the end of the colposcope lets the gynecologist clearly see the cervix.






During the colposcopy, the gynecologist focuses on the areas of the cervix where light does not pass through. Abnormal cervical changes are seen as white areas -- the whiter the area, the worse the cervical dysplasia. Abnormal vascular (blood vessel) changes are also apparent through the colposcope. Typically, the worse that the vascular changes are, the worse the dysplasia.






If your physician can view the entire abnormal area through the colposcope, a tissue sample or biopsy is taken from the whitest abnormal areas and sent to the lab for further evaluation.

Well, according to my gynae, 97% out of patients who are found with inflammation are cleared off from the 2nd round of pap smear. And I have to be among the 3% who requires further test - aptly the Colposcopy!
 
"It's nothing to be worried. It's just a further procedure to ensure that pre-cancerous cells are absent/present in your cervix", she optimistically explained.
 
Hmm...I'll be lying to say that I'm not worried at all about all this.....YES! I'm extremely nervous, anxious, and totally stressed out with my own health condition. I'm really unprepared for this......just hoping for the best and that it's just what my gynae calls it - a chronic case of Cervicitis.
 
Praying for a positive outcome.....

6 comments:

The Second Hippie said...

Hi just wanna tell you i went through the same thing as u before. I went for a pap smear 2 years ago, and the results said it was abnormal. So i know wat u mean when you said you were very scared and stressed cos i was a zombie then. I was crying almost everyday and googling everything.

2 months later after that first test, i went for another pap smear. This time i went for thin-prep pap smear. A better and more accurate version of the pap smear.The results were normal. And i had another pap smear test last year and the results was normal.

It's good that they detect early whatever u're having, but i'm pretty sure it's not cancer. don't stress too much, and keep on praying okay.

Aniston said...

Hi Second Hippie,

I wonder if I know who you are.....tried looking up info abt u but failed...
Mind revealing ur id?
Anyway, thank you so much for those kind and comforting words. Your experience sure did give me a relieve knowing that I'll be fine...hopefully....

The Second Hippie said...

Hi Aniston, you don't know me, I actually stumbled upon ur blog when i was blog-hopping. :) so i'm just a stranger actually.

I know quite a few people who has abnormal pap smears, so try not to worry too much. Colposcopy is just a tool to see if there's anything further that should be checked. If they found something, then whwat they'll do next is probably do a LEEP procedure to remove watever pre-cancerous cells that might have (if you have any int he first place).

believe me when i say i know what you're going through. I'll hold your hand silently. Be strong.

Aniston said...

Hi Second Hippie,

Your words of encouragement and support definitely shed some positive light in what I was going through yesterday. I was determined that all's gonna be well....

Well, I wouldnt say that everything went well throughout the procedure, tho I wish I could say that and post it in here....
There were some unusual whitish stuffs detected through the colposcope yesterday and my gynae decided to send some for biopsy.
So the waiting game continues......


This is definitely not what every woman wants!

The Second Hippie said...

:( you're right this is not what everyone wants. I forgot to tell you tat i also did a HPV test together with my Thin Prep pap smear. HPV test to see whether there are any virus present in my cervix.

Also, i read somewhere it's good to take folic acid for women who have cervical problems. Maybe u can try taking it?

Aniston said...

i only took folic acid when i was pregnant. never thought tht it'll benefit me further after that. will consider taking it again...
thanks for the tip...
it's nice to have someone share the same experience and truly understand the whole trauma, etc......we might be strangers, but somehow I feel a sense of comfort in me after our exchange of words in here.....

thanks.....it's been a pleasure sharing with u n corresponding with u here.....