Treatment to the cervix
Why would I need treatment to the cervix?
If you have abnormal cells in your cervix then you may need them removed by a Gynaecologist Consultant, incase they become cancerous.
What are the types of treatment to the cervix?
Large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ)
LLETZ is the most common treatment to remove abnormal cells. It involves removing the abnormal cells using a thin wire loop that's heated with an electric current. It is usually done when you are awake and can be carried out at the same time as a colposcopy. You will have local anaesthetic in your cervix so you cannot feel any pain.
LLETZ is also known as loop diathermy, loop cone, loop biopsy or loop excision.
A cone biopsy is another treatment to remove abnormal cells. It is a small operation which removes the abnormal cells in a cone shape piece of tissue. This treatment is used when larger areas of tissue are needed to be removed. It is usually carried out when you are under general anaesthetic.
Abnormal cells in the cervix can also be treated with:
Cryotherapy – the abnormal cells are frozen and destroyed (this is only used to treat minor cell changes)
Laser treatment – a laser is used to destroy abnormal cells on your cervix
Cold coagulation – a heat source is applied to the cervix to burn away the abnormal cells
Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) – this will only be considered if abnormal cells on your cervix have been found more than once, if they're severely abnormal, you're past childbearing age, or you do not want to have more children
What is the recovery like after cervical treatment?
You may experience discomfort, similar to period pain which should pass in time with paracetamol, as well as light vaginal bleeding which can last up to 4 weeks.
Most people feel well enough to return to work and continue their usual daily activities. However, you will usually be advised not to use tampons or menstrual cups for 4 weeks, not to have intercourse for 4 weeks, and not to exercise for at least 2 weeks while everything settles.
You will need another cervical screening test after 6 months. If your cells are normal you won't need another screening test for 3 years, but if more abnormal cells are found then you will need further treatment.