Our state-of-the-art facilities offer in-office procedures that may have been recommended for you. Following are some explanations of three of the most common ones.
A colposcopy is scheduled when the results of a Pap test show abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. Colposcopy is a way of looking at the cervix through a special magnifying device called a colposcope, which shines a light into the vagina and onto the cervix. The magnified view provides more information about the abnormal cells and allows the doctor to investigate problems that cannot be seen by the naked eye. If an abnormal area is seen, a small biopsy may be taken.
Colposcopy can also be used to evaluate other problems such as inflammation or polyps on the cervix, as well as pain or bleeding with sexual intercourse.
The procedure is best done when a woman is not on her period. For at least 24 hours prior to the test, one should not:
- Use tampons
- Use vaginal medications
- Have sex
Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)
Cells on the cervix grow and shed all the time. Sometimes, usually due to HPV infection, these cells become abnormal. This is known as dysplasia. In its milder form, this may resolve on its own, but if it is severe or does not go away, it may lead to cancer of the cervix. Smoking and exposure to sexually transmitted disease (STDs) also increases one’s risk of developing cervical cancer.
LEEP is a simple and effective way to treat cervical dysplasia. LEEP uses a thin wire loop which acts as a scalpel. An electric current is passed through this loop and removes a very thin layer of the abnormal surface cells. New, healthy cells grow back and replace the dysplastic cells. After this treatment, close and more frequent monitoring with Pap smears is necessary to ensure no recurrence.
Hysteroscopy is an in-office diagnostic procedure used to look inside the uterus. The most common indication for hysteroscopy is to find the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. Abnormal bleeding can mean that a woman’s periods are heavier or longer than usual or that bleeding between periods is occurring. If bleeding or spotting is noted after menopause, hysteroscopy is also warranted. The most common findings include polyps or uterine fibroids.
It is performed utilizing a hysteroscope, which is a thin, lighted, telescope-like device. With local anesthesia, this instrument is inserted through the vagina and into the cavity of the uterus. The hysteroscope transmits the image of your uterus onto a screen, allowing the physician a better view for diagnosis.
Other uses for hysteroscopy include:
- Diagnosing the cause of repeated miscarriages.
- Locating an intrauterine device (IUD)
- Performing sterilization as a permanent method of birth control.
Effective birth control is a major concern for many women. While there are many options, most come with side effects or worries about complete protection. When you decide that your family is complete and are considering permanent birth control, the Essure incision-free procedure offers benefits that no other permanent birth control method can.
Essure is the first non-invasive procedure to provide permanent and effective birth control. Essure is hormone free and requires no incision, no cutting or burning, and no anesthesia.
The Essure procedure takes less than 10 minutes to perform and can be done in the comfort of the Women’s HealthFirst office. There is no need for general anesthesia because the device is inserted through the body's natural passageways. During the procedure, your doctor will slide a soft, flexible silicone-free insert into each of your fallopian tubes. Over time, the body tissue in the fallopian tubes will grow into the inserts creating a natural barrier that prevents sperm from reaching the eggs. Development of the barrier takes about 3 months so another method of birth control will need to be used during that time. After the 3 months, a special test, known as the Essure Confirmation Test, will need to be done to verify that the tubes are fully blocked. Once this is confirmed, you may start relying on Essure as your only form of birth control. Essure has been shown to be 99.8% effective, based on a 5 year study.
While Essure is reliable and simple, it is also permanent. The procedure is not reversible. You will need to be certain that you do not want any more children before considering the procedure.