Changes in the cervix are called Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) and are graded as CIN 1 (mild), CIN 2 (moderate) or CIN 3 (severe). Some women may have an abnormality called Glandular Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CGIN).

Mild changes on the cervix (CIN 1) do not usually require treatment, as they normally go away on their own. Usually, you would be advised to have a follow-up appointment in the colposcopy clinic.

More marked changes (2 and 3) and CGIN are usually treated.

Treatment is either: 

  • Removing the abnormal area - Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone (LLETZ) also known as Loop Electro Excision Procedure (LEEP) or Cone Biopsy
  • Destroying the abnormal cells - Cryocautery, Cold Coagulation or Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER)

Treatments are normally done in the colposcopy clinic while you are awake. Some local anaesthetic is injected into the cervix so it is numb. Sometimes treatment is done under a general anaesthetic (you are asleep) – this especially applies to cone biopsies.

You will be given information about the types of treatment and advised which one is probably the best for you. Treatment cannot be done if you are pregnant but it is still important that you attend clinic appointments when advised to do so.

If you have treatment, you will be advised not to have sex for a month.  You should also avoid using tampons, going swimming and baths.

This information is also available on our leaflet, Your Colposcopy Appointment.