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What Are the Best Tips for LEEP Recovery?

Autumn Rivers
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a piece of electrified wire to remove abnormal cells from a woman's cervix. This usually is considered a quick procedure that is fairly safe, though it requires a recovery time of a few weeks. During this time, patients usually are advised to rest as much as possible, avoiding strenuous exercise as they recover. Mild cramping and some bleeding are common during LEEP recovery, while excessive bleeding and severe pain are not. A particularly heavy menstrual period is not typical, because this procedure should not really affect menstruation or pregnancy, and any unexpected symptoms should be mentioned to a doctor.

During recovery, patients usually are advised to rest for the first couple days after treatment. Many patients can comfortably get up and walk around after this point, even resuming activities that may include work — as long as it is not too physically demanding. After about a week of taking it easy, patients may be able to start exercising, if desired. They are advised to stop exercising and see a doctor if they notice any excessive vaginal bleeding, because this may indicate that LEEP recovery is not going well. As patients heal from this procedure, they usually are advised to avoid sexual intercourse for at least three weeks.

It is common to notice some cramping soon after a LEEP and, in most cases, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve the discomfort. It also is considered normal to spot or bleed lightly from the vagina for up to a few weeks. During this time, many doctors recommend using a pad or panty liner in one's underwear, though tampons should not be inserted for about a month after treatment. Heavy bleeding and clots typically are not considered normal and should be mentioned to a doctor right away. The same can be said for odorous discharge, a fever, and severe pain in the abdomen, because these also are not indicative of normal LEEP recovery.

In most cases, the patient's menstrual period is not affected by the procedure. This means that menstruation should occur as usual during LEEP recovery, and a doctor should be notified if the period seems much heavier or more painful than is typical. Women also should keep an eye out for the few risks that come with this procedure, with an infection being just one of them. The cervix also may become slightly narrower, which carries a small chance of causing infertility. In many cases, though, women who wait until after LEEP recovery to conceive can go on to have a healthy pregnancy.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for The Health Board, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By anon1004315 — On Jan 14, 2021

Can I go to work the next day?

By anon293968 — On Sep 28, 2012

I had a leep biopsy last week at the Coombe Hospital Dublin. It was very unexpected, but not a bad experience. It was a little uncomfortable. Once I had injections, I never felt a thing. It was over in a matter of minutes. If you need this done, don't worry. It is fine.

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for The Health Board, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
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