Cryotherapy uses a refrigerant gas (carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide)  to cool the ectocervix with a metal cryoprobe. The ectocervix must be cooled to -20ºC to cause crystallization of intracellular water and destroy the lesion. This can be achieved by forming an ice ball in the cervical tissue that is at least 5 mm from the tip of the probe.  The technique traditionally uses a "freeze and thaw" method by which the cryotherapy is performed for 3 minutes, 3 minutes off and freezing again for another 3 minutes.  There is at times cramping during the procedure, so the patient is advised to take 600mg of Motrin prior to the appointment time.  The most common complaint after the procedure is a copious watery discharge that can last for up to 4 weeks.  We also want you to abstain from intercourse, douching, swimming or tampons for 4 weeks.  You should call the office after your procedure if you have a temperature greater than 100.4, heavy vaginal bleeding (soaking a pad in an hour or less), or pain not relieved by Motrin/Tylenol.