Colposcopy: A Vital Examination for Detecting HPV-Related Lesions

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common infection that primarily affects the mucous membranes of the body. It is mainly transmitted through sexual intercourse, but can also be spread through skin-to-skin contact.

In most cases, the immune system successfully eliminates the virus without noticeable symptoms.

However, in certain instances, infection with specific types of HPV can lead to the development of lesions, including benign skin warts or precancerous lesions known as cervical dysplasia.

To prevent the progression to cervical cancer, proper treatment and follow-up are essential.

As part of preventive check-ups, a Pap test is typically performed, along with the option of testing for HPV infection.

Both tests involve collecting a cervical sample. If a pathological result is obtained, a colposcopy is conducted.

Colposcopy is a specialised examination that involves visualising the vulva, vagina and cervix using a microscope. It enables the identification of suspicious lesions associated with HPV infection.

Biopsies are then taken to confirm any pathological changes, which can be treated with minimally invasive techniques such as LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) or cone biopsy. These procedures have significantly reduced post-operative complications, such as bleeding, and do not pose a risk of premature birth in pregnant individuals.

Preventing an HPV Infection: Timely vaccination is the most effective method for preventing HPV infection. Both girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 15 are recommended to receive the HPV vaccine. Vaccination can also be administered at an older age after consulting with a healthcare provider.

By prioritising regular check-ups, early detection of HPV-related lesions can be achieved, enabling timely intervention and reducing the risk of cervical cancer. It is important to discuss vaccination and screening options with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance and recommendations.

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