Womens Health

What is a LEEP procedure?

I have seen a couple of terms used and would like to know more about them. What is a LEEP procedure, I know that is is commonly used to treat abnormal paps.

A LEEP (loop electrical excision procedure) is usually done in office. The cervix is injected with xylocaine. Then a wire loop with electrical current is used to excise tissue from the cervix that has the abnormal cells. It's sort of like using a melon ball scooper to remove the tissue.

Chemical cautery or electrical cautery is used to make sure that the bleeding is under control. Nothing in the vagina for 3 weeks after that to let it heal then Paps in 3-4 months to make sure abnormal tissue is gone. It is about 80% effective.

What is HPV?

And what is HPV? I have never heard of a STD called this or a pap being returned with this kind of result.

HPV is human papilloma virus. It is ubiquitous in anyone having sexual relations. Most people's immune system controls the virus and it doesn't cause abnormal cells. Some people's immune system takes awhile to build antibodies to it and meanwhile it causes abnormal Paps. Smokers take the longest time to get over it but it persists for awhile in nonsmokers too.

Some people think HPV causes cervical cancer if one's immune system does not get on top of it. I suspect it is a promoter or initiator of cellular change that sets one up for possible cancer and something else (genetics, smoking, exposure to multiple partners etc.) carries it on.

Sexual activity after LEEP procedure

On Monday I had a LEEP procedure to remove some irregular cell development. My doctor said no sex for a month. Does this include all sexual activity or just actual intercourse? Please advise.

He/she means any activity that may disrupt or interfere with the cervix as it heals. The cervix is quite vascular and can bleed extensively if traumatized. Therefore, nothing in the vagina for about 3-4 weeks. Other sexual activity is ok.

Table of Contents
1. Stabbing pain?
2. What about HPV?
3. Chronic cystic cervicitis
4. HPV on Pap smear
5. Recovering from LEEP
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