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Colposcopy Service | Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) | Te Whatu Ora

Public Service, Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Formerly Northland DHB Colposcopy Service
What is the Colposcopy Service?
This service provides detailed investigation of abnormalities of the cervix, vagina and vulva. 

A colposcopy is an examination of the cervix (entrance to the uterus) with a specially lit microscope (colposcope). As with a cervical (Pap) smear, an instrument called a speculum is inserted into the vagina, and then the colposcope is positioned outside the vagina with its light directed on the cervix.

A specialist (colposcopist) will perform a colposcopy examination if your Pap smear has shown abnormal or precancerous cells on the cervix or if you have a positive HPV (human papillomavirus) result. During the colposcopy, further samples of tissue (biopsies) are removed if indicated after applying solution to the cervix and sent to the laboratory.  A report will be sent to the doctor after examination in the laboratory, so the doctor can get a clearer idea of the extent of the abnormal cells.

Common Reasons for Colposcopy Referral:

  • Abnormal or uncertain cervical smear results
  • High-grade smear abnormalities
  • Persistent low-grade abnormalities
  • Abnormal appearance of the cervix with or without bleeding
  • Positive HPV result
For further information about Colposcopy in general:

Referral Expectations

If you have an abnormality in your smear result or are experiencing bleeding that may be coming from your cervix your doctor will refer you to the Colposcopy Clinic closest to you.

The type of problem you have will govern how quickly you will be seen. It is difficult to do the examination if you have your period so our booking clerks will ask you when your period is due and work out a date and time that is suitable for you.

Colposcopy is SAFE in pregnancy, but in some circumstances, we will organise to see you after the baby is born.

Women with high-grade smears (CIN 2, CIN 3, ASC-H) will also be phoned when we receive the referral and an appointment date will be made for within 20 days.

Women with low-grade smears (ASCUS, CIN 1) we encourage to wait at least 4 months before we organise an appointment as it is not uncommon for these types of problems to go away on their own.  BUT we still need to see you and check this as some do not.


Whangārei has clinics on most Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

All Northland's Colposcopy service appointments are organised from Whangārei and you will be telephoned to make an appointment.

(09) 430 4101 ext 8601 or gynaeclinic@northlanddhb.org.nz

The nurses are available Monday to Friday.  If you have any questions about abnormal smears or your colposcopy visit, feel free to give them a call on (09) 430 4101 ext 8607.

Kawakawa clinics are on alternate Tuesdays

Kaitaia clinic is once a month on a Thursday.  The specialist doctor and nurses travel to the Kaitaia clinic by plane; this means that we are dependent on good weather to get there. It is a good idea if you have an appointment for the Kaitaia Colposcopy Clinic to phone to check that the clinic is still on for that day.


If you need a treatment that will be done in Whangārei Hospital.  

Contact Details

Emergency Department: Open 24 hours / 7 days, Phone (09) 430 4100

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Whangarei Hospital
2 Hospital Road

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Street Address

Whangārei Hospital
2 Hospital Road

Postal Address

Whangārei Hospital
Private Bag 9742
Whangārei 0148

This page was last updated at 2:44PM on November 22, 2023. This information is reviewed and edited by Colposcopy Service | Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) | Te Whatu Ora.