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After LEEP you’ll have some cramps and discharge. There are things you can do to make yourself more comfortable.

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What do I need to do after LEEP?

After LEEP you may have mild cramping for a day or so. If you’re uncomfortable, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine.

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 not so great. If this happens, wash your labia (the lips outside your vagina) with plain water a few times a day for a few days. 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 for 3 weeks, unless your doctor or nurse tells you otherwise.

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

  • heavy bleeding

  • 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. In some cases, abnormal cells can be cured with cryotherapy. Other treatments include:

  • Laser — A laser beam is used to remove abnormal tissue.

  • LEEP cone biopsy — A cone-shaped wedge is cut out of your cervix. It’s then tested in a lab. Cone biopsy is used to diagnose and treat abnormalities that go deeper into the cervix. It is usually performed in an operating room under anesthesia.

Your doctor will probably want to schedule additional Pap tests. The problem could stay the same, get worse, or go away on its own. Your doctor or nurse can discuss your best treatment plan with you.

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