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LEEP is a type of treatment that prevents cervical cancer. LEEP removes abnormal cells from your cervix, and it’s effective and safe.

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What’s LEEP?

LEEP stands for Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. It’s a treatment that prevents cervical cancer. A small electrical wire loop is used to remove abnormal cells from your cervix. LEEP surgery may be performed after abnormal cells are found during a Pap test, colposcopy, or biopsy.

How does LEEP work?

You’ll lie down on an exam table like you would for a Pap test. Your doctor or nurse will put a speculum into your vagina and open it. This separates the walls of your vagina so they can see your cervix.

Once your doctor or nurse can see your cervix, they'll apply numbing medicine to it. Then they’ll use a small tool with an electrical wire loop to remove the abnormal cells.  Then your blood vessels in the area will be sealed to prevent bleeding. They might also use a special paste called Monsel’s Solution to prevent bleeding. The cells are sent to a lab to be tested.

LEEP takes about 10 minutes.

Does LEEP hurt?

You may feel mild discomfort or cramping. You won’t feel cutting or heat from the loop. Because numbing medicines are used, a lot of people don’t feel anything at all.

How effective is LEEP?

LEEP removes all abnormal cervical cells most of the time. If LEEP doesn't remove all of the abnormal cells, you may have to have LEEP again, or your doctor or nurse may recommend more tests or a different treatment.

Where can I get LEEP?

You can get LEEP at your doctor or nurse’s office, some community health clinics, or your local Planned Parenthood health center.