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Cryotherapy uses extreme cold to kill abnormal cells. Doctors use it to remove genital warts and to treat cervical dysplasia, the growth of precancerous cells on the cervix. The cervix is the opening to the uterus located at the top of the vagina.
At Dignity Health Central California, our goal is to provide high-quality, healing care to women at all stages of their lives. Find a Doctor who uses the latest in cryotherapy in Central California. We offer gynecological care with a philosophy of dignity and respect.
Doctors recommend cryotherapy to remove abnormal cervical cells, which are often caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Although it is not cancer, cervical dysplasia has the potential to develop into cervical cancer.
Cryotherapy is also used to “freeze” off genital warts, just like warts on the hands or feet.
Cryotherapy is performed in a clinic or exam room. Taking over-the-counter pain medication before the procedure may make your experience more comfortable. Cryotherapy on the cervix can cause sensations similar to menstrual cramps. Risks of cryotherapy include bleeding and infection.
Much like a Pap test, you will put your legs in stirrups. Then, your doctor inserts a speculum into the vaginal canal to widen it and uses a small probe to identify the abnormal cells and destroy them with liquid nitrogen. The entire procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes. In rare cases, cryotherapy of the cervix can make it harder to get pregnant.
Your doctor will simply apply liquid nitrogen directly to your warts. A burning or stinging sensation is common. Cryotherapy of genital warts can sometimes cause blistering.
After cryotherapy of the cervix, it’s normal to have a watery vaginal discharge, which may include a small amount of blood. Sanitary pads can be used absorb the discharge. However, you should not use tampons or insert anything else into you vagina until your doctor says it’s safe.
After cryotherapy for genital warts, you may experience some soreness, swelling, or pain. The dead tissue will usually shed and fall off.
Most women are fully healed two to three weeks after cryotherapy. Talk to your doctor about any follow-up appointments to make sure all of the abnormal cells have been removed.