A special microscope (colposcope;Figure 21.8) allows the gynaecologist to magnify the cervix and define the area of abnormality. The cervix is visualised as when taking a smear. Dilute acetic acid is applied and this makes the abnormal area appear white (aceto-white). The colposcopist then looks at the blood vessel pattern (a green filter assists visualisation). Areas of mosaicism and punctation are examples of commonly seen abnormality (Figure 21.9). With local anaesthetic, tiny biopsies may be taken. These are sent to the laboratory where the pathologist can advise further about the severity (Figure 21.10).


Figure 21.8

Figure 21.9

Figure 21.10

There is evidence that there is a tendency to anxieity and depression0802 associated with referral for colposcopy and this has an adverse effect on sexual function.0801

Related Medical Abstracts - Click on the paper title:-

Women's Health

Please click on the required question.