Sexual Function and Fertility
Repeated conizations or multiple procedures can impact a woman’s ability to get pregnant or to carry a pregnancy to term. Studies have indicated that if a woman has three conizations, she will have a higher rate of preterm delivery.
Our mission is to help preserve fertility by removing as little tissue as possible when doing resections, and to err on the side of conservative management. To maximize outcomes, we ask that patients return to the center regularly for checkups.
We are continuously studying the best management techniques for women with cervical dysplasia. One of our studies has been tracking healthy women with CIN2/3. More than 300 patients have enrolled in the study over the past 10 years. In this study, we follow women diagnosed with CIN2/3 for 15 weeks. We perform an extra exam between weeks 6 to 8 to make sure that lesions are not growing. At week 15, if there is still CIN2/3, we remove it. Specimens collected during this study allow us to study immune responses to HPV in the cervix and the blood. No patients’ lesions have grown in this time frame. In fact, over 30 percent of CIN2/3 lesions regress in this time frame without further intervention. Determining what factors influence regression may help us spare patients the need for surgery. In addition, studying the barriers to the immune response within cervical lesions will allow us to create a new generation of more effective immune therapies.
Some therapies for cervical cancer, including surgery or radiation, can be disfiguring to the vulva or vagina. As a result, some women may be self-conscious about their appearance, or afraid to have sexual relations because the virus is transmitted through direct contact.
A nurse affiliated with our center is available for confidential counseling and advice to address these issues to best preserve sexual function.
For more information or to make an appointment, contact Linda Rogers at 410-550-0335.