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Providing a genitourinary medicine colposcopy service
  1. C Sonnex
  1. Correspondence to Dr C Sonnex, Department of GU Medicine, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK; christopher.sonnex{at}


Between 15 and 30 years ago, the management of women with abnormal cervical cytology fell within the remit of GU Medicine. This involved performing colposcopy. With the introduction of certification for colposcopists in 1998, most GU Medicine clinicians stopped providing a colposcopy service. As certification is not required for using the colposcope to diagnose and manage other ano-genital conditions, a GU Medicine-based colposcopy service was introduced at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK, to assess young women with post-coital bleeding (PCB). One of the objectives of this study was to review this service. In 2011, local guidelines were implemented advising referral to the department of GU Medicine for women under the age of 40 years presenting with PCB with or without inter-menstrual bleeding (IMB) and with no history of previous cervical pathology. A case note review was undertaken for 357 consecutive patients to document clinical findings and management and to determine whether this was an appropriate route of referral. Cervical pathology was found to be uncommon and easily treated within the GU Medicine setting. The provision of a colposcopy service by GU Medicine nurse practitioners or doctors is achievable but requires appropriate training. Importantly, once obtained, these skills can be easily and usefully transferred to examining the vulva, penis, anus and anal canal.

  • Colposcopy
  • Gynaecology
  • Genitourinary Medicine Services

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