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Cryocautery involves temporarily freezing the cervix (the opening to the womb) with a metal probe for 1-2 minutes. It is sometimes used to treat mildly abnormal cells on the cervix but more often used to treat excessive vaginal discharge or bleeding after sexual intercourse (post coital bleeding).
Freezing this area on the cervix promotes the growth of the tougher, thicker tissue which is less likely to bleed during sex or produce excessive discharge. It is an effective, quick and simple method, and will not affect future fertility.
What happens during the procedure?
A speculum will be inserted into the vagina so that the cervix can be clearly seen. A cold metal probe will be placed onto the cervix for 1- 2 minutes. The procedure may cause period type pains and these may last for the rest of the day. Approximately 1 in 3 women report having some pain after this type of treatment. Having pain seems to be more likely in women who haven’t had any children. Simple pain relieving medications such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen usually help and it is recommended to take them prior to your appointment. You are welcome to bring your partner or a friend with you.
What should I expect afterwards?
As no anaesthetic is required you can go home straight afterwards or as soon as you feel able. You can drive or take public transport. It is normal to experience a heavy watery discharge for the first few days. This watery discharge may last for 2-4 weeks and may change from pink to brownish in colour.
What precaution should i take after the procedure ?
In order to minimise the risk of infection and other complications during the first 4 weeks you must:
- Use sanitary towels and not tampons
- Avoid sexual intercourse
- Avoid swimming
You should contact the clinic where the treatment was performed if you have any of the following:
- A smelly discharge.
- Fever or high temperature
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Severe abdominal pain
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Dr. Amal Al Mulla has more than 25 years of hospital and private experience. She is a Consultant Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine Specialist
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