What is cryotherapy?
- It is a freezing procedure that destroys abnormal cells.
- In about 6 or 8 weeks, healthy cells replace those that were frozen and destroyed.
- It is often done after cervical dysplasia is diagnosed, as well as for other reasons.
How is cryotherapy done?
- A plastic speculum is put into your vagina. This is so the doctor can see your cervix..
- Numbing medicine is injected into the cervix.
- A round metal probe is gently put on the cervix.
- You will hear a soft hissing sound caused by a special gas circulating in the probe. This gas freezes the cells.
- This takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
What will I feel?
- You may have a dull cramping, like menstrual cramps. These will go away in 10 to 15 minutes. Some people have mild cramping the rest of the day.
- Take over-the-counter medicines to lessen cramping. Follow your provider instructions or as the package directs.
What should I expect after cryotherapy?
- Do not have sex, use tampons or douche for at least 2 weeks or until the watery discharge stops. This lowers your risk of infection and bleeding.
- You may have some bleeding for 24 hours. Then you may have spotting up to 2 weeks.
- You will have a large amount of watery vaginal discharge for at least 2 to 3 weeks.
- You may need to change pads 6 or 8 times a day at first.
- Your next period may be somewhat heavier because the watery discharge mixes with the menstrual flow.
- In most cases, the cervix heals and will be covered by normal cells within 8 weeks.
- Call the clinic if you have:
- Pain after treatment
- Foul-smelling discharge
- Have follow-up Pap smears if cryotherapy was done for cervical dysplasia.
- Keep all your appointments. This is important to your care.
- The Obstetrics Gynecology Clinic at 319-356-2294 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- For urgent questions or concerns
- Call toll-free at 800-777-8442, 24 hours a day
- Ask for the gynecology resident on call.
- You may be asked some questions when using the toll-free number.
Send a MyChart message for non-urgent questions or concerns.