Any kind of cancer is a scary experience for all. When it becomes a cancer that affects the reproductive organs, the repercussions are more as it can lead to infertility and inability to bear a child due to hysterectomy and other treatment procedures.
The most common treatment methods that are undertaken for cervical cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Early stages are treated using cryosurgery, conisation and laser treatment. All these treatment methods have side effects of varying degrees. One of the most common side effects of treatment of cervical cancer is discharge from the vagina. Vaginal discharge can also be found even when a woman has cervical cancer.
Treatment Of Vaginal Discharge
Invasive cervical cancer is most often followed by bleeding and discharge from the vagina. If the discharge is discovered to be caused due to cervical cancer, treatment of the cancer is necessary to stop the discharge and bleeding. However, certain treatment methods like cryosurgery, laser treatment and radiotherapy too can cause bleeding.
But the consistency varies in both the cases. While bleeding related to the treatment will be much less severe with light to medium bleeding or just spotting which could extend for a couple of weeks after the treatment method, bleeding and discharge due to cervical cancermay not be so prominent in the initial stages. Very heavy and persistent bleeding could be due to other conditions.
Abnormal vaginal discharge due to cervical cancer means that the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. The treatment in such cases would be surgery to remove the uterus and radiation and chemotherapy. After these treatment methods, sometimes the bleeding may continue or increase for a brief period and subside slowly.
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Vaginal Discharge After Treatment
The vaginal discharge triggered by treatment of cervical cancer using laser surgery, cryosurgery and excisional biopsy and radiation will subside on their own after a few weeks. During this time, any kind of vaginal irritation must be avoided like having sexual intercourse and using tampons. Heavy bleeding that does not stop must be reported to the doctor as it may be due to other conditions that need to be treated.
Sometimes a radiation therapy episode can be followed by vaginal discharge and bleeding that is severe. This is due to the infection caused as a result of decreased immunity after the radiation. In such cases, antibiotics have to be taken to take care of the infection.
Vaginal Constriction After Treatment
Most women experience narrowing and shrinking of the vaginal canal after cervical cancer treatment. In such cases, there could be pain and bleeding during sex. A vaginal dilator can be used in such cases to stretch the vaginal walls and reduce bleeding after sex. As every woman’s case is different, seek the advice of your physician for treating abnormal vaginal discharge, even if it is after cervical cancer treatment or before.
Cervical cancer is completely curable if discovered early. Ensure that you go for annual Pap smear tests and undergo regular pelvic examination by the doctor to catch the symptoms early and reduce the side effects.