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Cryotherapy is a common treatment for abnormal cervical cells. These include genital warts and cervical dysplasia, a growth of precancerous cells on the cervix (opening to the uterus.) Cryotherapy uses extreme cold to destroy the abnormal cells.
The experienced team of doctors at Dignity Health Southern California provides expertise in all aspects of women’s health. We perform cervical cryotherapy in Southern California at four calm, welcoming locations designed to make you feel comfortable. Find a Doctor you can trust and make an appointment today.
Genital warts and cervical dysplasia are caused by a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Cervical dysplasia is not cancer, but it can become cervical cancer if it is not treated. Cryotherapy uses extreme cold to kill abnormal cells and help prevent further problems. The procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
Your doctor can perform cervical cryotherapy in an exam room or clinic setting. Your doctor may recommend taking non-prescription pain medication before the procedure to avoid the potential pain of cramps (similar to menstrual cramps).
During the procedure, you will lie on your back with your legs in stirrups. Your doctor will insert a speculum into your vagina to gently widen the vaginal canal, then use a colposcope to target the abnormal cells. A cryoprobe will be inserted until it touches the abnormal cells. Liquid nitrogen flows through the cryoprobe to destroy them.
If you have genital warts, your doctor may apply liquid nitrogen directly to the warts. It may burn or sting.
Every procedure comes with benefits and risks. Your doctor will explain them, address your concerns, and encourage you to ask questions.
Most women are fully healed two to three weeks after cryotherapy.
As a normal part of the healing process, you will have watery vaginal discharge, which may contain a small amount of blood. To absorb the discharge, you can use sanitary pads. To avoid infection, do not use tampons or insert anything else into your vagina until your doctor says it’s safe.
If you have cryotherapy for genital warts, dead tissue will fall off. You may also experience soreness, swelling, or pain.
You will have a follow-up appointment with your doctor to make sure your treatment has worked effectively. At Dignity Health Southern California, we make every effort to make sure you are comfortable throughout the treatment and healing process.