Precancerous abnormalities of cervix, vulva and vagina

The Dysplasia Clinic provides comprehensive testing and treatment with the health and wellbeing of the whole woman in mind.

The Clinic sees women who have had:

  • an abnormal cervical screening test result or
  • unusual bleeding and symptoms.

The Clinic detects and treats abnormal changes in the cervix, to prevent these changes becoming cancerous. Very rarely, these cell changes might already be cancer. In this case, the Clinic will refer you to a specialist gynaecological oncologist.


Most women attending their 1st appointment at the Clinic will have a colposcopy examination. In the below video, Ange Steele, nurse colposcopist, talks you through what to expect:

Thank you to Cancer Council Victoria for partnering with the Women's to create the above video.

Information for patients

Your first appointment

After you have been referred to the Dysplasia Clinic by a doctor or nurse, you will receive a letter from the Women’s with an appointment time.

Two to three days before your appointment you will receive an SMS reminder of your appointment time and date.

If you are unable to attend your appointment, or need to change the time, please contact our clinic as soon as you know you won't be available. We'll make another appointment time for you. Please call us: (03) 8345 3695.

By giving us early notice of your unavailability, you'll be helping another woman as we'll offer your appointment time to them.

If you miss two appointments in a row and you would like to make another appointment, you will need a new referral from your doctor or nurse.

Before you come to the clinic

We recommend that you avoid wearing a G-string to your clinic appointment as it is possible that you will need to use a sanitary pad after the examination.

If you have your period, you may still attend the clinic.

During your clinic appointment

Please advise your doctor or nurse if you are pregnant, as this may affect your examination plan. If you are pregnant, we will not be able to undertake a biopsy during your examination.

Please watch the video at the top of this website page, for more details about your colposcopy visit. 

Your examination results

After your examination, the doctor or nurse might be able to tell you straight away if they found anything unusual during your colposcopy.

You'll usually receive your formal results about three weeks after your appointment. You will be advised of your specialist's recommendation:

  • whether you need treatment 
  • if you need to come back to the clinic for more tests, or
  • if you should return to your local doctor for another cervical screening test. 

Admission for treatment

If you require treatment, we will call you or send you a text message, to confirm a date with you.

You must contact the Bookings office to confirm your treatment date. If you do not confirm, your appointment might be given to someone else. To contact the Bookings office, please call (03) 8345 3335 or email

There are several types of treatment options that will remove the abnormal cells.

These include laser ablation, wire loop excision and cone biopsy. Your medical team will discuss which options are the best.

Your treatment

Your treatment might be performed with either local anaesthetic or under general anaesthetic. This may be in our Day Procedure Centre or Day Surgery Unit. 

You may need to stay at the hospital for two to three hours after your treatment. If you have had a general anaesthetic, you will not be able to drive a car for 24 hours after your procedure, and will require a nominated person to collect you. 

If necessary, we will advise you by letter or phone call of any post-operative instructions or follow up plans. 

You will usually have a follow-up appointment with a Dysplasia Clinic nurse 10-12 months after your operation, unless otherwise arranged with your surgical team.

What to expect after treatment

You may have a vaginal discharge. It may be pink, blood-tinged or dark brown. You may have spotting or bleeding for one to two weeks after treatment. You may even have spotting or bleeding up to four weeks after treatment, however it is unlikely to be heavy bleeding. 

About a week after the treatment it is quite normal to pass a blood clot which might look like a piece of tissue, this is usually followed by a small amount of bleeding.

You may have mild to moderate discomfort similar to period pain. You may take pain-relieving paracetamol to relieve this.

Avoid strenuous exercise for three to four weeks, light training can be restarted after one week

Do not have intercourse or use tampons for four weeks following the surgery. This helps with the healing and reduces the risk of bleeding or infection.

Do not soak in a bath, it is preferable to shower or sponge bath for the first two weeks at least.

If any of the following happen please see your local doctor or come to Women's Emergency Care:

  • Vaginal bleeding heavier than a period or soaking a maxi pad in one hour (go to Emergency rather than waiting to see your GP).
  • Fever above 38 degrees C.
  • The vaginal discharge becomes offensive and smelly.
  • Severe abdominal pain that is not relieved by paracetamol

Your doctor/GP or community women’s health nurse will need to fax a referral, plus your Cervical Smear test results, to the Women’s.

We will then contact you to provide your appointment details. 

What to bring to your appointment
  • Your Medicare card
  • Your Health Care card (if you have one).