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Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)?

A LEEP is a procedure to remove abnormal tissue from your cervix or vagina. The tissue can be tested for cancer or infection. You may need a LEEP if other tests have found abnormal cells on your cervix or in your vagina.

How do I prepare for a LEEP?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for your procedure. Do not douche, use tampons, or have sex for 24 hours before the procedure. Do not put medicines in your vagina for 24 hours before the procedure. Call your healthcare provider if you have your menstrual period on the day of the procedure. You may need to wait until your period ends to have the procedure. Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you after your procedure.

What will happen during a LEEP?

  • Your healthcare provider will insert a speculum in your vagina. A speculum is an instrument that holds the vagina open so your provider can see your cervix. You will be given local anesthesia to numb your cervix. With local anesthesia, you may feel pressure or pushing during your procedure, but you should not feel pain.
  • Your healthcare provider will insert a tube with a looped wire at the end into your vagina. He or she will use this instrument to remove a sample of tissue from your cervix. You may feel pain or cramping when the sample is taken. You may also feel dizzy. Tell your healthcare provider if the dizziness gets worse. Your healthcare provider may use a paste or tools to control bleeding.

What will happen after a LEEP?

Your healthcare provider will monitor you for heavy bleeding. You may have cramping, bleeding, or dark brown discharge after your procedure. These symptoms may last up to 4 weeks.

What are the risks of a LEEP?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your menstrual periods may feel more painful after the procedure. You may have problems getting pregnant or be at risk for a miscarriage or preterm birth. If you do get pregnant, your baby may be underweight.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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