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Cervical Screening

Cold coagulation

Cold Coagulation is used to treat abnormal cervical cells, which are also known as cervical intraepithelial (CIN), by destroying the affected area, so that normal cells can grow back in their place. It is usually performed in a hospital outpatient clinic, using a local anaesthetic. Most women need only one session of treatment. A biopsy (a sample of the skin) is required before cold coagulation treatment is used. The abnormal cells are removed by heating not freezing. A hot probe is used to destroy the abnormal cells. Women should not feel the heat of the probe, but may get a period type pain while being treated or for a short while afterwards.
 
We interviewed one woman who had cold coagulation treatment. Treatment was performed at the same time as she attended the colposcopy clinic for investigations following her abnormal screening test result.
 

The worst thing about treatment was having the anaesthetic in her cervix. She had bad period pain...

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Age at interview: 35
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 28
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The worst thing was having to have a local anaesthetic in my cervix, that was the most scary thing, you see this great big needle coming towards you and having the injection inside, that's quite urgh it just makes you really squeamish and I don't like injections at the best of times. I'm a bit of a wimp, I'm a wimp when it comes to anything to do with hospitals and doctors. So I, so they did that and you know it wasn't pleasant but it wasn't agony or anything it was just unpleasant and I think because I tense up it makes it worse. And then he did whatever he had to do that was it really. I sort of walked home bow legged and, and once the anaesthetic wore off it was quite painful and it felt like you had really bad period pain that sort of feeling so I just sort of had to take neurofen and stuff.

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Last reviewed October 2015.

Last updated February 2013.

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