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What Should I Do after LEEP Surgery?

Autumn Rivers
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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If your doctor detects abnormal cells in your cervix during a colposcopic examination, you may be advised to get a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP). This surgery involves inserting a thin, electrified wire loop into the cervix to cut out any abnormal cells. After LEEP surgery, your cervix may be sore for a few weeks and, during this time, pink or brown discharge and cramping are usually considered normal side effects. You are advised not to place anything into the cervix as it heals, which means tampons and intercourse are usually not recommended until your doctor says it is OK. Once you fully recover, you are advised to schedule regular pelvic exams and practice safe sex to help keep your cervix free of cancer and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

After LEEP surgery, you will likely notice mild cramping for a few hours. If it is severe or seems to get worse several hours after the procedure, you should call your doctor, because this is not considered normal. Another side effect of this procedure is brown or black discharge for about a week as the paste used during the surgery gradually makes it way out. Pink spotting also is common and may last up to three weeks. You should call a doctor, though, if you bleed heavily, spot for several weeks or notice any yellow vaginal discharge, because these symptoms may signal an infection or other problems.

Your body needs time to heal from any type of surgical procedure, which is why you need to follow your doctor's precautions after LEEP surgery. For example, you should typically not have intercourse for at least three weeks after the procedure. Douching or placing anything near the cervix also is not recommended at this time, which means you are advised to use pads or panty liners instead of tampons to absorb any discharge. You can, however, resume normal activities, such as work or school, a day or two after LEEP surgery, in most cases.

Having LEEP surgery may get rid of abnormal cells, but it is possible for them to return, which means it is important to be vigilant about getting regular pelvic exams from your doctor. At first, you will likely need a Pap smear every six months for a couple years, and then you likely can to start going annually once it is clear that the abnormal cells have not come back. After LEEP surgery, you are advised to avoid smoking if you want to reduce your chances of getting cervical cancer. In addition, using condoms during sexual activity can help keep your cervix healthy, reducing your chances of getting an STD.

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.
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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 Spotiche5 — On Jun 09, 2014

A tip for any patient who will be having LEEP surgery is to get plenty of rest during the first few days after the procedure. This will help easy any cramping and discomfort caused by the surgery.

By Raynbow — On Jun 08, 2014

If you are having LEEP surgery, you should not attempt to drive yourself to the appointment. I have a friend who tried this, and she experienced bad cramping following the procedure. She had to call her mother to come get her, who had to bring another friend to drive her car home.

The bottom line is that if you are having LEEP surgery, have a friend or family member drive you to your appointment because you may not feel like driving home after the surgery.

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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