A cone biopsy is a medical test that can help your doctor rule out whether you have cervical cancer. In this surgical procedure, a cone-shaped wedge of tissue is removed from the cervix and then examined in a lab to determine whether there are any cancer cells present. You’ll typically only get this test if an exam like a Pap smear reveals abnormal cells.
While a cone biopsy doesn’t usually affect your ability to conceive, the procedure can occasionally lead to problems with miscarriage. Though it’s not a very common occurrence, a surgeon who is overaggressive can remove too much of the cervix, leaving it unable to do its job in keeping everything inside that’s supposed to stay inside during your pregnancy (a condition known as an incompetent cervix). Rarely, the biopsy can lead to cervical stenosis, or a narrowing of the cervical canal, which can make it more difficult for sperm to reach their destination. The good news is that most women who have the procedure go on to perfectly healthy, normal pregnancies and deliveries. If you need to undergo a cone biopsy, it’s important to find a physician who does the procedure on a regular basis: The more surgeries she does, the better she’ll likely be at maintaining as much cervical tissue and avoiding as many complications as possible.
Plus, more from The Bump:
Cancer and Getting Pregnant