Cervical Dysplasia

Ivor Benjamin, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I have several questions about treatment of CIN 3. I have been treated for this three times in the past. Each time I had a biopsy and cryotherapy. I can not get my doctor to answer any of my questions. I hope you can help. I have three questions:

  1. I am wondering if my recurrences might be connected to my being on Depo-Provera?

  2. Are my chances of becoming pregnant decreased because of having three biopsies and cryotherapy three times?

  3. If I can become pregnant, are my chances of having a miscarriage higher?
Thank you for your time,

Ivor Benjamin, MD, Former co-Editor-in-Chief of OncoLink responds:

Dear Karen,
I am sorry to learn that you feel that your physician did not communicate with you better. Regarding your general questions about cervical dysplasia:

  1. Depo-provera use is NOT associated with the development of cervical dysplasia.

  2. Any surgical procedure performed on the cervix (e.g. biopsy or cryotherapy) may result in scar tissue. This could lead to reduction of your ability to become pregnant (fertility) by blocking the canal in your cervix through which the sperm must travel to unite with the egg. This blockage is known as "cervical stenosis." The risk for problems following these minor procedures is small. If performed for the appropriate indications, the benefits (i.e. treatment of the dysplasia) usually outweigh the risks (e.g. stenosis) associated with them.

  3. The risk of miscarriage following cervical biopsy and/or cryotherapy may be increased in some cases. However, this risk is small and again would likely be outweighed by the benefits of having had the procedure.
The fact that you cannot get your doctor to answer your questions to your satisfaction is very disturbing. Perhaps your should seek another physician who specializes in the treatment of dysplasia and cancer of the cervix. These physicians are known as Gynecologic Oncologists and you may locate one in your area via the Women's Cancer Network referral page.