Cryotherapy is used to treat abnormal cervical cells (CIN) by destroying the affected area so that normal cells can grow back in their place. It has a slightly lower success rate than the other treatments for abnormal cervical cells and so it is less commonly used, particularly for CIN3.
Cryotherapy is usually performed in a hospital outpatient clinic under local anaesthetic, and a cold probe is used to freeze the abnormal cells. Most women need only one session of treatment. A biopsy (a sample of the skin) is required before cryotherapy treatment is used.
Last reviewed May 2014.