The LEEP Procedure

When I got the results of CIN3 from the colposcopy last month it was recommended that I get a LEEP Procedure to remove the dysplasia.

Being a modern day women, I immediately hit the Google and read everything I could find on the procedure.

First thing I realized is that this is incredibly common among women in my age group.

Second thing I realized is that each experience is very different depending on the severity of the dysplasia and each women’s response to treatment.

Third thing I realized is that I hadn’t found a good, first-hand account of the procedure.

As I said, every women, circumstance, and doctor is very different but here’s what I experienced today with the LEEP.

The set-up was exactly the same as it is for a pelvic exam.

The speculum was huge and uncomfortable in and of itself.

The doctor injected Lidocaine internally into the area for local anesthesia- PAINFUL but short lived.

Here’s the scary part; the “loop” is just a little thing, about the size of my pinky nail, but it burns anything it touches.   The doctor let me know how important it is that I stayed completely still while he was using it.  It sounded a little bit like a drill and hurt really bad for the two seconds at a time he actually used it.  My entire body was tensed up and my jaw was clenched in an effort not to move a muscle.  As soon as he took it away it just went back to being uncomfortable but not painful.  He said that it was rare to experience pain but I most certainly did.  I have a decent pain tolerance, I have two tattoos and used to pierce my own ears when I was a teen!

I was SO relieved when it was over, which was about 10-15 l-o- n-g minutes after he started.  I heard that sometimes you feel a little woozy afterward but I just felt a tiny bit weak.  I was still glad that Tate was there to drive me home because I immediately started experiencing bad pain/cramping low in my pelvis.  Ibuprofen and a hot water bottle have helped but it’s been a low key day.

My doctor recommended the following for recovery;

  • No vigorous exercise for a week
  • No baths or swimming for 2 weeks
  • Nothing in the vagina for 3-4 weeks
  • Follow-up Pap in 3 months
  • No wait necessary before TTC, after the 4 weeks (just sayin’ 😉 )
I expect a call on Monday or Tuesday confirming that everything went well and that the margins were clear.
I hope this helps at least one person out there who is awaiting the procedure or trying to decide whether to have it.

17 Comments

  1. Katie O.

    I’m so sorry that it was painful and scary. I was feeling for you! But thank goodness it was over and seriously I do appreciate your sharing. Especially your health plan. I really appreciate your blog and it helps me a lot with my eating and health goals.

    • gracefulfitness

      Thanks Katie, it was a hard decision to share it but it actually made me feel a lot better and knowing that other women appreciated hearing the details made it well worth it.

  2. I think it is really great that you shared all of this info. It’s so important to be informed about these topics that aren’t usually discussed. And I’m really glad to hear that you came out ok in the end! Hope you are feeling better and that the results come out clear.

  3. (Last week was crazy, & I am just catching up on everything.) I’m so glad things seem to be going well, & I’m very sorry for everything you are going through. I’m sending lots of love your way. I had a colposcopy a few years ago, which was quite painful. Your PSA hit me, because I have learned since my PA didn’t handle my situation very well at all; I probably shouldn’t have had it done or needed to worry like I did. Like you mentioned, the unnecessary stress takes its toll. It sounds like the colposcopy was nothing compared to the LEEP though. I’m so sorry it’s been scary & painful, but thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life — this will help a lot of woman experiencing similar situations. Love you Faith!!!

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