After LEEP you’ll have some cramps and discharge. There are things you can do to make yourself more comfortable.
What do I need to do after LEEP?
You may have mild cramping for a day or so after LEEP. If you’re uncomfortable, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine (like ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
You’ll probably also have watery discharge for several weeks. It may be heavy and have a little blood in it. It also may smell a little bad. You can wash your vulva with plain water a few times a day, but don’t wash or put anything inside your vagina. And drink lots of fluids to replace the water you’re losing in your discharge.
To speed up your LEEP procedure recovery and prevent infection, follow these guidelines:
Don’t douche or use tampons for at least 3 weeks. You can use pads or panty liners.
Don’t have vaginal sex or put anything in your vagina (like fingers or sex toys) for 3 weeks, unless your doctor or nurse tells you otherwise.
Your nurse or doctor will probably want to do testing more often to monitor your cervix carefully. The problem could stay the same, get worse, or go away on its own or after treatment. Your doctor or nurse can discuss your best treatment plan with you.
Is LEEP safe?
Most people don’t have any serious problems after LEEP. Very rarely, serious problems happen. These include:
pelvic infection — especially if you have vaginal sex before your cervix heals
damage to other pelvic organs or the wall of your vagina
reaction to local anesthesia
Call your doctor right away if you have
severe belly pain
fever (temperature of 100.4 F) or chills
vaginal discharge that smells very bad
unusual vaginal bleeding or bleeding that’s heavier than the heaviest day of your period
LEEP may increase the risk of preterm birth in future pregnancies. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan on getting pregnant in the future, and if you get pregnant, let your doctor know that you’ve had LEEP.
In a small number of cases (10%), LEEP doesn’t completely cure the problem. If this happens to you, you might need to have another LEEP or a different treatment.
LEEP During Pregnancy
Doctors usually wait until after you give birth to treat abnormal cervical cells. Delaying treatment is usually safe because it generally takes a long time for abnormal cervical cells to turn into cancer.
Are there other treatments that prevent cervical cancer?
Yes. Other treatments include:
Cryotherapy — using a chemical to freeze abnormal cells off your cervix so normal ones can grow back
Laser — using a laser beam to remove abnormal cells.
- Cone biopsy — cutting a cone-shaped wedge of tissue out of your cervix and testing it in a lab.