Treatments for Cervical Changes
It's important that you attend any follow up appointments if you receive an abnormal smear test result. In many cases as with mild abnormalities, classed as CIN1, you may not require immediate treatment and instead be required to attend for a re-test in a few months.
However, if you are diagnosed with moderate (CIN2) or severe (CIN3) abnormalites then it is more than likely you will need further treatment. You will probably be referred for a colposcopy in the first instance and you may be treated during that appointment or you may be asked to return for treatment after the colposcopy.
Treatment may involve a biopsy which will necessitate removing a small amount of tissue from the affected area of your cervix. This will then be sent to the lab for testing which will help determine what treatment is next required.
It is important that any abnormal cells are removed or destroyed as quickly as possible and without causing any damage to any surrounding healthy tissue. Treatment is usually undertaken on an outpatient basis and usually only requires the use of a local anaesthetic. It is normally performed as an out-patient case with the procedure taking no more than 30 minutes.
The following treatments are available in most clinics:
After Treatment for Cervical Changes
Depending upon the treatment you've had for your abnormal cells you will be told what to expect after treatment. However, if you have received LLETZ, laser therapy, cold coagulation or cryosurgery then you will be allowed home once the treatment has been completed. Be aware though that it can take your body up to six weeks to recover completely from the treatment.
It is necessary to rest for at least few days following any treatment and you should refrain from lifting anything heavy or taking strenuous exercise until your body has healed.
You may experience some pain, similar to menstrual cramps for a couple of days. If this is the case then you may be able to take an everyday painkiller to help and your doctor or nurse can advise you which medications are suitable.
For up to four weeks after treatment you may experience some light bleeding or vaginal discharge and if you've had cryosurgery then it is normal to have quite a lot of watery discharge. You will probably have been prescribed an antibiotic cream to place in your vagina to help prevent infection. however, if you haven't and you notice that any bleeding or discharge is getting worse or smells offensive then contact your gp as you may have an infection requiring medication.
Your period may arrive earlier than normal after cervical surgery and it may be heavier than normal. If this is the case you should not use tampons as the risk of infection is heightened.
After surgery you should expect it to take several weeks for your body to heal. It is important that you do not use tampons, douch or have sex until all the discharge or bleeding has ceased.
Follow Up Appointments
You will probably be asked to return to the clinic where you had your treatment within a few weeks to check it has been successful and that everything is healing well. You may be asked to attend for another smear in 6 months to check everything is normal and then again every year for several years.
Related Smear Test Articles
For further information about HPV visit NHS Cancer Screening Programme.
Further information about Colposcopy and invasive illness is available from the British Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.
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