When Is a Cervical Biopsy Done?



Biopsy of the cervix is performed ​​for diagnostic purposes. During this procedure, a tissue sample of the affected area needs to be removed, usually using optical colposcope. It provides nearly 50 times magnification and highly focused lighting, which allows for a detailed view of the external genitalia, vagina, and cervix.

After the biopsy sample has been removed, it is examined histologically under a microscope so that the changes can be detected and the appropriate treatment prescribed.

What are the most common indications for a biopsy?

This procedure is recommended for major disorders such as metrorrhagia (irregular uterine discharge) or heavy uterine discharge after menopause.

Other reasons that necessitate a colposcopy of the cervix may include those that require:

  • to determine the phase of the menstrual cycle based on the lining of the uterine wall;
  • to examine the abnormal thickness of the lining of the uterine wall during  menopause;
  • to look for the causes of infertility;
  • to assess the result of hormone therapy;
  • to determine the reason for the development of a certain infectious process.

Colposcopy makes it possible to clarify the diagnosis if abnormalities are detected during a routine examination or a smear test. These include HPV infection and cell dysplasia, which increase the risk of cancer.

Contraindications to the use of colposcopy of the cervix, in addition to pregnancy, include the presence of infection due to the risk of its spread.

How is the procedure done?

Prior to colposcopy, data is collected on medications taken, especially aspirin, ibuprofen, and various anticoagulants. Other information that is required is regarding possible allergies, pregnancy, and recent vaginal infections.

The procedure is scheduled at least seven days after the end of the menstrual cycle. The use of tampons or drugs for vaginal use is suspended; it is recommended to avoid bathing and sexual intercourse 24 hours before.

The biopsy is performed as follows:

  • The patient should be lying on the gynecological couch with an empty bladder;
  • Next, the vagina is swabbed with antiseptics;
  • Using a speculum, the walls of the vagina are opened so that the cervix is ​​clearly visible;
  • A tenaculum is used to stabilize the cervix;
  • A small piece of tissue is removed with biopsy forceps from one or more places.

The procedure can also be a cone biopsy. It is performed under general anesthesia and a cone-shaped piece of tissue is removed with a scalpel or laser. Another type of colposcopy is endocervical curettage, during which tissue is scraped from the lining of the cervical canal using an instrument called a curette.

After the procedure, physical activity should be limited for a few days, sexual intercourse and the use of vaginal douches and tampons should be avoided. Occasionally, minor bleeding is possible after the procedure.

Usually, the results of the biopsy are obtained within a few days. Normal or abnormal values ​​may be established – mild, moderate, or severe cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Based on the results, the doctor decides on the method of treatment or the need to remove the affected tissue.

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