Abnormal Smear Test. Mr Alan Gillespie Explains Why You May Need a Colposcopy…

Mr Alan Gillespie, Consultant Gynaecologist
Claremont Clinics: Thursday evenings/Friday & Saturday mornings

Mr Gillespie specialises in the management of most gynaecological problems including the diagnosis and treatment of gynaecological pre-cancer and cancer.


I have been informed I require a colposcopy. Why is this needed? A colposcopy is required when your smear test is abnormal or when your General Practioner or Practise Nurse is concerned about the appearance of your cervix (neck of your womb).


What is HPV and why is my smear test abnormal? HPV is the virus that causes smear abnormalities. Approximately three quarters of the population will get an HPV infection at some point. Most of these infections are short lived and there are no ill effects. Women who develop smear problems have persistent HPV infections – this leads to the abnormalities in the cells of the cervix that are identified in the cervical smear.


Do I have cancer? The abnormality of the cells in a cervical smear commonly indicates a degree of pre-cancer. It is unlikely that cancer is present. The colposcopy and associated tests usually confirm and reassure that there is no evidence of cancer.


What is colposcopy? Colposcopy is an examination of your cervix by a doctor who is a specialises in problems related to cervical smears. The procedure is similar to when you have your smear but takes a few minutes longer. During the examination the doctor will inspect your cervix carefully and may sometimes take a further smear or a biopsy (a small piece of skin). Colposcopy is safe and usually well tolerated. You should eat and drink before the examination as occasionally women feel a little light headed.


What will happen when I attend for colposcopy at Claremont? The aim of the colposcopy service is to reassure you as quickly as possible at this anxiety provoking time. You will be met by the reception staff in a private area of the consulting suite. You will have an initial consultation with the doctor who will explain the procedure and reassure you regarding any concerns or anxieties you may have. The nursing staff will then take you to a separate private room where you will get ready for the examination. After the examination you will have a further conversation with the doctor and follow up arrangements will be agreed.


Will I need further follow up? This depends on the findings during the colposcopy. The examination itself may be all that is required to provide you with full reassurance. If biopsies or treatment of your cervix is required then further follow up will be necessary to discuss results, plan your management and check that your cervix has returned to normal.


Private colposcopy with Mr Gillespie at Claremont ranges between £371 and £731 (depending on tests required) plus an initial consultation fee of £185 if you don’t have health insurance.  For more information or to book an appointment with Mr Gillespie, just call our Private Patient Team on 0114 263 2114 or email  You only need a GP referral letter if you are insured, you can see one of our Private GPs quickly for this if you prefer. 

Copyright Alan Gillespie, 2019

Date: 22/09/2019
By: technical