Colposcopy + Vulvoscopy

A colposcope is an instrument that allows gynaecologist to obtain a close up, well lit, binocular, magnified view of external genitalia. 

A colposcopy is close up examination of cervix using the colposcope.

Vulvoscopy uses the same instrument, where the focus of the examination is the woman’s vulva.

Having a colposcopy or vulvoscopy will take between 15 to 30 minutes.


We will make the time to address
any concerns you have.


  1. A speculum is inserted into the vagina.
  2. Dr Sem looks at your cervix through the colposcope which is placed at the entrance to the vagina. The colposcope magnifies the cervix six to ten times.
  3. If needed, a Pap smear, HPV DNA swab, endocervical or vaginal swab may be taken.
  4. A cotton swab may be used to remove excess mucous and a weak vinegar solution is applied to the cervix. This makes areas where there are changes in the cells turn white helping Dr Sem to identify abnormalities.
  5. Sometimes a brown solution (iodine) is applied to view your cervix. During this examination healthy cells turn brown. You need to tell Dr Sem or our nurse if you are allergic to iodine.
  6. Having identified any abnormalities, Dr Sem may take a biopsy (the removal of a tiny piece of tissue) from any areas of concern. Usually no anaesthesia is required
  7. A biopsy may be felt as a sharp pinch and there may be some associated cramping pains afterwards.
  8. Sometimes, bleeding may ensue, in which case Dr Sem will apply a special chemical to stop the bleeding. Very rarely a stitch is required to control the bleeding
  9. The tissue collected is sent to a laboratory for testing to confirm the diagnosis.
  10. You may have some ‘spotting’ for a few hours afterwards, so it is a good idea to take a sanitary pad to the consultation.

After the Procedure

If biopsies were taken,  you should avoid rigorous physical exercise for 24 hours and sexual intercourse, swimming or baths (including a spa) to reduce your risk of bleeding or infection for one to two days.

You may have brown ash like discharge for a few days.


A very similar procedure to colposcopy, during vulvoscopy Dr Sem will carefully inspect the vulva to look for any abnormalities.After applying weak vinegar solution, vulval skin changes are identified.

Dr Sem may take a punch biopsy using a special instrument. Vulval  area can be quite sensitive, so he will apply local anaesthetics to the biopsy area beforehand. Please inform him if you had allergic reaction to local anaesthetics before.

The biopsy will be sent to a pathologist to obtain a tissue diagnosis.

A stitch may be required to stop bleeding from biopsy site.



Dr Sem will arrange a follow up, usually in 2 weeks’ time to discuss the results of any sample taken during colposcopy or vulvoscopy.