Cryotherapy for Cervix Treatment
Cryotherapy is becoming more and more popular, but what is also just as popular is the treatments branched from it. From cryotherapy for prostate cancer, there is a new type of procedure called cryosurgery.
What is it?
Cryosurgery is the process where doctors use liquid nitrogen – a freezing gas – to destroy precancerous cells that are found in the cervix. The cervix is the lowest part of the womb and uterus and open into the vagina and is vital in the reproductive process. By going through cryosurgery, the cervix will get an opportunity to replace destroyed unhealthy cells with new and healthy cells.
Not only is cryosurgery used for this process, it is also used to treat any STDs found in a woman as well. Typically this entire process takes as little as 10 minutes to do and is done while you are fully awake.
How can you prepare?
While the last bit may seem very daunting, don’t worry. There are a few things you can do to prepare for cryosurgery (aka cryo). One such thing is asking for over-the-counter pain medication. Taking it before the procedure will lessen cramping that’ll you’ll experience during cryo. Furthermore it’s important to arrange someone to drive you back home as often times women feel light-headed after the procedure. Finally you’ll also want to bring a menstrual pad as watery discharge is a pretty common occurrence after this type of procedure.
How is it performed?
When you get there for your appointing, either the nurse or a technician will hand you a hospital gown. You’ll then need to strip from the waist down and then you’ll need to lie down on the examination table. Your feet should also be in stirrups much like they would be in if you were getting a regular Pap smear.
From there, the doctor will place speculum in your vagina in order to spread the walls. They’ll examine your cervix with a colposcope which’ll allow better visualization. This’ll help in letting them see abnormal cells and identifying them.
After that, the doctor will insert a cryoprobe which’ll press against the cervix. From there nitrogen gas will be released causing the metal to chill and create a sort of “ice ball” directly on the cervix. This ball will then kill any abnormal cells. It’s during this process you may be experiencing cramps and chills for obvious reasons.
For the best results, the doctor will hold the cryoprobe against your cervix for about three minutes. They’ll then remove it for roughly five minutes allowing the area to thaw before applying it again.
What about aftercare?
Life after the procedure isn’t as bad. After the procedure, your doctor will want a Pap smear in about three to six months to ensure that the abnormal cells are destroyed and your body is putting in healthier ones. For the most part you don’t have to worry so much about them recurring as cryosurgery has a success rate between 85 and 90 percent. It is out of the ordinary for cells to be present even after three to six months. If they are still there, you’ll need a different procedure to be done.
Furthermore life will turn relatively the same. For the first two to three weeks after cryo, it’s highly recommended to avoid vaginal intercourse, use tampons or douche during that period of time. This’ll allow your cervix time to heal from the procedure. Furthermore, if you are on the pill, you can still take them on schedule.
You may also notice during that period that your vagina will have a watery or blood-streak discharge. Don’t be alarmed by this is this your body’s way of getting rid of dead cells.
What risks are there?
While it may seem like a not as bad experience as treating prostate cancer, there are still risks involved to this procedure. The most common is the cramping, however that is during the procedure.
After cryo, some women experience dizziness once they stand up. If you notice that, let them know immediately and give yourself time to rest. A few minutes will do.
That being said, there are some other rare risks that can occur from this treatment. Examples are infections, fainting, heavy vaginal bleeding, freeze burns on the vagina or a flare-up of existing pelvic infection.
The big reason one can get infections is due to foreign objects being inserted into your vagina during the procedure. As such you will want to contact your doctor if you experience a high fever, unusual or foul-smelling vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, or a high fever.
Lastly, your cervix may also get scarring. This is only in rare circumstances, however the injury will make being pregnant and delivering vaginally harder than it was before. As such, you’ll be monitored closely when you get any later pregnancies.