A woman’s body has been likened in almost every field as the cradle of life. For one, women are burdened with the responsibility of childbearing wherein all of us made our longest and most dangerous journey inside our mother’s womb. As such, efforts are put in place to ensure that women’s health especially those relating to reproduction are taken cared of, maintaining her health in tip-top condition to avoid any aberrations. With numerous possible causes that could undermine a woman’s health, the need to protect women from various maladies is all too apparent to everyone.
What is Colposcopy?
One such measure to help protect women is colposcopy. Colposcopy is a medical diagnostic procedure that is used to examine an illuminated and magnified view of the cervix and the tissues of the vagina and the vulva. Such a procedure helps to detect the presence of both premalignant and malignant lesions in these areas. Developed in 1925, the colposcopy procedure has a main goal of preventing cervical cancer by detecting precancerous lesions and treating them early.
In line with protecting women’s reproductive health, another procedure that is widely used is the Pap smear. Although the Pap smear is common and widely used, it is classified as a screening and not a diagnostic tool. That is why when a gynecologist detects something anomalous in a woman’s body, a closer look at the cervix is recommended using a colposcope..
Colposcope: Modern Tool in Detecting Cervical Anomalies
The colposcopy procedure is very similar to the Pap smear although in the former, acetic acid is placed on the cervix. This causes the cervical cells to fill with water enabling light to pass through them. The instrument itself, the colposcope, is a large electric microscope that is positioned approximately 30 cm from the vagina. A very bright light at the end of the colposcope makes it possible for the gynecologist to clearly see into the cervix.
What Colposcopy May Reveal
During the colposcopy procedure, the gynecologist focuses on the areas of the cervix where light does not pass through. This is because gynecologists know that possible infections occur in these areas. Abnormal cervical changes are seen as white areas, and the whiter the area, the worse the cervical dysplasia is. Abnormal blood vessel changes are also apparent through the colposcope. Abnormal vascular changes can occur in dysplasia. Typically, the worse the vascular changes are means that the worse the dysplasia.
The Importance of Follow-up in Colposcopy Procedures
Although colposcopy is very helpful in detecting anomalies in the cervix and so help protect the woman’s health, an even more important aspect of the procedure is the follow-up. Here, it is important to take into consideration the lifestyle of the woman so she could be properly advisedon activities that may bring her closer to the danger of developing cervical complications. It also advises women to practice safe sex especially if the cervical anomaly is due to sexual intercourse.