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Colposcopy nurses 1The colposcopy service at the Trust is part of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

Cervical screening is a way of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities, which if left untreated, could, over time lead to cancer in the woman's cervix (neck of the womb).

What is colposcopy?

A colposcopy is a simple procedure where the surface of the cervix is closely
examined using a low powered magnifying instrument (which remains outside the vagina) called a colposcope.

A specialist, called a colposcopist, performs the procedure to check the cells on the surface of the cervix for abnormalities.

Colposcopy nurses 2The aim of colposcopy is to assess the nature, severity and extent of any abnormality found by the smear. This may involve taking tiny biopsies (a specimen) for further analysis in the laboratory.

At the clinic, when it is appropriate and possible, we may offer the option of being seen and treated on your first visit.

Why do I need a colposcopy?

A colposcopy is usually carried out when the results of a cervical screening test (smear test) indicate there are abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

A colposcopy may also be used to investigate things such as unexplained vaginal bleeding (such as after sex), an inflamed cervix, and unexplained pelvic pain.


The colposcopy clinic is located in the gynaecology outpatients department in St Michael's Hospital. We also have a clinic at South Bristol Community Hospital.

Colposcopy secretariesColposcopy co-ordinators

0117 342 5811

Emergency 24hr help number - Ward 78

0117 342 5278

If you have any questions or queries regardsing colposcopy you can speak to colposcopy nurses on 0117 342 5133 or leave a message and we will return your call.

Further information on abnormal smear results and the colposcopy procedure can be found on the websites below:

 BSCCP logo  The British Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology

 Cancer screening  NHS Cancer Screening ProgrammeNurse

NHS Choices logo NHS Choices

 Jos trust    Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust 

Patient information leaflet

Colposcopy Clinic

Patient comments

Please see some patient comments below: 

  • The staff were all very lovely and put me at ease with no pain 
  • The friendly nature of all nurses made me feel very comfortable and at ease 
  • Both the nurses really made me feel comfortable and completely at ease 
  • Brilliant staff. Nothing to improve or suggest. Kept me calm and relaxed the whole time 
  • The nurses were lovely, they put my mind at ease