Background:  Postcoital bleeding is a common gynaecological problem that impacts on a woman’s quality of life and sexual function. There is little systematic research into its management.
Aims:  To assess the efficacy and side‐effects of cryotherapy as treatment for postcoital bleeding.
Methods:  A prospective randomised controlled trial was conducted in a tertiary referral hospital in Hong Kong. A total of 85 women who presented with postcoital bleeding were recruited, and randomised to cryotherapy or no treatment. The treatment group received cryotherapy with compressed carbon dioxide through a cryoprobe placed on the cervix, and controls had cryoprobe on the cervix without compressed carbon dioxide flow. All recruited women were followed up two weeks, three months and six months to review their symptoms and response to the treatment.
Results:  The treatment group had a significantly better long‐term cure rate and improvement rate. At six months, the cryotherapy group reported a cure rate of 72.1% while that in the control group the cure rate was 50.0% (P = 0.04). The number needed to treat was 5. The mean improvement rate of the cryotherapy group was 82.88% ± 35.87 but was only 61.62% ± 55.30 in the control group (P = 0.04). The results were more significant in women with the defined pathological cervix. Apart from the vaginal discharge at second week follow up in the treatment group, there was no statistical significant difference in side‐effects and complications among two groups.
Conclusion:  Our study demonstrated that cryotherapy is a safe and an effective treatment for postcoital bleeding.