Specific Timing for Colposcopy: Is it Worthwhile?

Carcopino, Xavier1,2; Akkawi, Reem1; Conroy, Ronan3; Prendiville, Walter1

Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31816276a4
Original Research

OBJECTIVE: To estimate if the time of the menstrual cycle would improve the chance of seeing the squamocolumnar junction at colposcopy.

METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted on 1,248 patients with normal menstrual cycles who attended our colposcopy clinic between 2003 and 2007. Timing of colposcopy, parity, contraception, smoking status, and visibility of the transformation zone were recorded for analysis. The transformation zone was classified as type 1 when completely ectocervical and fully visible, type 2 when it was partially endocervical but fully visible, and type 3 when not fully visible.

RESULTS: No significant difference was found between the rate of types 1, 2, or 3 transformation zone observed in patients who were examined during the second week of their menstrual cycles and the others (P=.581). Compared with women in the first week of their menstrual cycle, those on the 22nd day or later were significantly more likely to have a type 1 transformation zone at colposcopic examination (odds ratio [OR]=1.6, P=.029, logistic regression using day 1 to 7 as baseline). The probability for a patient to have a type 1 transformation zone declined with age (OR=0.59, P<.001), parity (OR=0.47, P<.001), and smoking status (OR=0.55, P<.001), whereas it increased with the use of combined oral contraception (OR=2.7, P<.001). Adjusting for these factors, we found no statistically significant effect of the time of cycle on the visibility of the transformation zone.

CONCLUSION: Timing colposcopy during the menstrual cycle does not improve the visibility of the transformation zone and is not recommended.


In Brief

Specific timing for colposcopy does not improve the visibility of the transformation zone and should not, therefore, be recommended.

Author Information

From the 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Coombe Women's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; 2Service de Gynécologie Obstétrique, Hôpital Nord, Chemin des Bourrely, Marseille, France; and the 3Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, St. Stephens Green's, Dublin, Ireland.

Supported by a grant from the Fondation de France.

The authors thank Mary Martin for her help in collecting the data from our electronic database.

Corresponding author: Xavier Carcopino, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Hôpital Nord, Chemin des Bourrely, 13915 Cedex 20, Marseille, France; e-mail: xcarco@free.fr.

Financial Disclosure The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2008 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists