Please note, this page is printable by selecting the normal print options on your computer.
What is cryocautery?
Cryocautery involves freezing the cervix (neck of the womb) with a metal probe for 1 to 2 minutes. It is usually used to treat vaginal discharge or bleeding caused by a cervical ectropion. This is a
normal feature of the cervix especially if you are taking the contraceptive pill. This is when the inside lining of the cervix encroaches the outside of the cervix, so that the cells which are normally found inside the cervix are seen on the outside of the cervix. These cells are very delicate and tend to bleed if touched. Over a few weeks the area, which has been frozen, heals over with a layer of skin, which is stronger than the delicate skin of the ectropion. This is less likely to bleed or cause a discharge.
How is cryocautery to cervix performed?
Cryocautery is performed in clinic after a vaginal examination. You may feel period like pains during this procedure but these stop as soon as the freezing is completed over 1 to 2 minutes. No
anaesthetic is required. You will be able to travel or drive home alone afterwards. About 30 minutes after the procedure you may experience a gush of fluid as the ice melts on the cervix and you
will then experience some vaginal discharge for 2-3 weeks after the procedure, which may be brown (old blood) or clear. You may need to wear a panty liner. Do not use tampons or have intercourse for 4 weeks after your treatment. If you experience any fresh bleeding or have an offensive discharge, you should contact your GP or the office of the consultant whose clinic you were treated at.
How will my treatment be followed-up?
You may receive an appointment for the out-patients department to be seen again or ask to be followed up by your referring GP if your symptoms persist.