- The procedure will be scheduled when you are not experiencing heavy menstrual flow.
- If there is a possibility you might be pregnant, a pregnancy test will be performed.
- You may be given a pain reliever before the procedure to decrease cramping.
- The doctor will freeze the abnormal tissue using a small probe. The freezing compound is a nontoxic gas and is delivered to the freeze probe via flexible tubing.
- The small freeze-probe (cryoprobe) is placed against the cervix. The probe cools the area to sub-zero temperatures. The destroyed cells are shed afterwards in a watery discharge.
- Cervical cryotherapy, usually lasts about five minutes and you may experience a slight amount of discomfort.
You may experience a watery and often odorous discharge for the first month as the destroyed tissues are flushed from the cervix. If the discharge is heavy, ask your doctor for a special cream. You may also have:
- Slight cramping for two to three days
- Watery discharge requiring several pad changes daily
- Bloody discharge, especially 12–16 days after the procedure
Post procedure precautions you should take are:
- Abstain from sexual intercourse for three weeks
- Do not use tampons for three weeks
- Avoid excessive exercise to lessen the chance of post-therapy bleeding.
- In many cases there is no recurrence of the abnormal cervix cells, but you'll need to have follow-up care to ensure the precancerous cells do not return. The two years following a procedure is when most recurrences take place.
- A Pap smear is done within three to six months.
- If normal, Pap smears are repeated every six months for two years.
- Depending on your individual situation, your doctor may recommend that a colposcopic examination be used in place of the initial and annual Pap smear.