LEEP Recovery

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from the lovely Kat of Cville Niche, a Charlottesville blog-o-zine.  She picked up a flyer for my Wednesday night mat Pilates and wanted to highlight the class for Niche blog, which is all about connected young C’villians with what’s happening around town.

Last week herself and two other Niche ladies joined me for class.  They are a great group of women and I love the “live.love.local” mission of the blog.  Here’s what they had to say about my Pilates class.

Total change of topic; it’s been almost four months since my LEEP procedure to remove abnormal cells from my cervix.    I haven’t written about my recovery since about a week afterward, when I got the results that the margins were clear and the cells were not cancerous, but I’ve thought about this area of my body every single day for the last four months.

I’ve thought about it daily because I’ve felt it daily.  It’s not pain but definite discomfort through my groin and pubic bone area that comes and goes with no apparent triggers.  I talked to my doctor about it the week after surgery and he had no clue but told me to come in if it got worse.  It didn’t get worse but has stayed persistent.

On Valentines Day I went in for my three month follow up (delayed a few weeks because of my trip to Portland).  The doc again said that he saw no reason that I should have this irritation and that everything looked good to him.

The doctor-patient relationship is a hard one!  On one hand I like that he is really positive and acts like none of this is a big deal at all.  On the other hand I detest that he acts like none of this is a big deal!

I experienced a lot of anxiety leading up to that appointment. I suppose I feel a little better knowing that the daily discomfort isn’t a symptom of anything scary but at the same time it’s a constant reminder that my organs aren’t perfect and I had my reproductive parts scraped with an electric wire.

At this point the best thing for me is to be grounded and satisfied with my choice to have the LEEP but it was a really hard decision.  It is not my place to give medical advice to anyone else but I hope that by sharing my experience I can help encourage women in a similar situation to do their homework before making a decision.  The LEEP, for me, was a very painful procedure that took over a month to recover from the most noticeable side effects and I am still waiting for this nagging discomfort to dissipate, not to mention that my cervix will, literally, be forever scarred.

If you’ve had a LEEP, cone, or cryotherepy I would really appreciate hearing about your experience!

56 responses to “LEEP Recovery

  1. I wish I lived closer. $5.00 pilates classes are non-existent in the Boston area. Looks fun!

  2. I had cryotherapy when I was in my 20’s. I had no recovery issues and haven’t had an abnormal pap or any issues since then (at least that I remember since it has been awhile!) It was scary at the time. Sorry you are still feeling discomfort.

  3. I read your blog and missed the one on tje procedure. What a scary procedure. Ive had severe cramps since my teenage years and always struggled with my drs. not fully believing my pain whenever I get them.. I hope your dr. follows up on the comstant not normal pain you feel.

  4. Thanks for the shout out Faith. Loved the class and so glad we have gracefulfitness as an option here in Cville!

  5. I really appreciate you blogging about this. I had a LEEP procedure almost a year ago, I felt fairly confident about the procedure before I went in ( I have a fairly high pain threshold) and was assured by my Doctor that they are performed all the time and I would be fine to work the next day. I did read up on the procedure on a few message boards ahead of time, and noticed that women had fairly wide ranging experiences some described it as painful but many said it had been no big deal. My experience was somewhat traumatizing, I wasn’t really prepared for how painful and uncomfortable it was for me, luckily I had did it on a Friday morning and had the next few days off. My body had a really bad reaction, my leg were shaking uncontrollably through the entire procedure almost to the point my doctor need to get assistance, near the end of the procedure some of the topical pain medication had worn down and I felt more of the full force of what was happening. I was a mess, crying and barley able to walk, very lucky to have my partner there to pick me up and support me when I got home.
    I’m not sure if other people have had the experience of having some major emotional impact from this procedure but I definitely did. It took me a month at least to heal from the procedure physically but to also feel grounded again emotionally. Now a year later, there are no signs of returned abnormal cells and I am back to annual pap-smears. As far as residual pain or discomfort after the procedure that you are describing, I didn’t have pain, but did feel a little discomfort and noticed that my monthly nueva ring birth control (that I had been using for years with out issue) suddenly did not seem easy to place easily, it was very uncomfortable and kept moving forward. I was told by my doctor that she had never heard of that being related to the LEEP, but to me it seemed to much of a coincidence, after about 6 months, everything seemed to go back to normal. I don’t regret my decision to get a LEEP and feel fortune to be healthy at this point, but I do suggest other Women really research first and do what is right for them as everyone’s experiences can be really different depending on how their body reacts. Thank you for starting this discussion Faith, its now to hear about others experiences.

    • Kait,
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, and I’m sorry you had to go through that. I too was crying and in a lot of pain (and like you, I have a high treashold!) during the actual procedure even though the doctor said he’d never had a patient experience pain with it before.
      At this point I don’t regret my decision, I thought long and hard before making it and it was the best choice between several very hard choices, but I do think that it’s important for women to hear about the range of experiences before having a LEEP. Personally, I would have taken a “watch and wait” approach if it had been anything less than CIN III but the progression of it scared me. It’s often hard to remember that we are each the captain of our own body, I think it’s really common to place so much faith in a doctors hands that we become unempowered to make our own decisions about our body.
      I am so glad to hear that you are feeling back to normal, it’s a good reminder to me that in time all of this will probably be a distant memory.
      Thanks again for writing!

  6. I had the LEEP procedure done about 12 years ago. I recall being uncomfortable for a while but I don’t remember how long it lasted. I am currently pain free and have had clear Pap tests ever since my LEEP. At the time I knew I wasn’t ready to have kids but I was worried the LEEP might hinder my ability to start a family one day in the future….fortunately it did not! My husband and I were able to get pregnant our first month of trying and we now have 17 month old twin boys! Maybe LEEPs mean you’ll have twins, so watch out! (just kidding). My cervix held up BEAUTIFULLY during the entire pregnancy. I exercised every day and carried the babies full term. There was a fear my cervix would need to be stitched up and I’d have to go on bed rest due to the weight of the babies but I didn’t have a single problem. My boys weighed 6 lbs & 7 lbs at birth.

    You seem to be regretting your decision to have the LEEP. You made the best decision you could based on the information you had at the time. Don’t second guess yourself. The land of “what ifs” is toxic. Honor your body, rest when you feel pain, and have faith in your body’s ability to heal. Good luck!

    • Julie, Thanks so much for sharing, you have no idea how comforting this is too me. I generally don’t “do” regret, I agree it’s toxic, but you’re right-I was feeling really frustrated and powerless when I wrote that post. I keep telling myself that I need to get over the whole thing and move on and I will soon, it’s just taking a little time because I have this daily nagging reminder. I am thrilled to hear that your cervix did great through pregnancy-with twins! Always helpful to hear about other people’s experience, thanks again.

    • Thank you, Julie!

      Today marks 4 weeks since my LEEP proceedure and my biggest “regret” is fear that I will have complications during pregnancy. My heart is relieved knowing that you were able to birth twins with no complocations! I’m having a hard time finding info about how to take care of oneself post proceedure. Did you take any supportive vitamins, supplements, or do anything else to strengthen and heal your cervix? My husband and I want to start a family soon but I’m wondering if I should wait? If so how long!? How long after your proceedure did you get pregnant? Any info or advice you have to share would be great!

      Thank you!

  7. Hi… I had a leep done about 2 weeks ago and I am still in very bad pain and have a yellow pinkish discharge should I b concerned because I am freakin out help!!!!!!!

    • gracefulfitness

      Hi Crystal, how are you feeling now? Have you talked to your doc? I had mild pain for months afterward and discharge lasted 4-5 weeks, although it decreased by the day. Please talk to your doctor and if you are not happy with them, find a new one. Acupuncture helped me a lot with the stress of the whole situation. Please let me know how you are doing and take good care of yourself, I know it’s a really stressful time.

  8. Hi, I had a LEEP procedure done 4 months ago. I had a high grade of cell abnormality (CIN III) and the doctor recommended LEEP. I haven’t had a follow-up appointment for a PAP test yet, although it is coming up soon.

    My main concern is the length of recovery time that it takes for the body to return back to normal. I have had almost constant discharge of blood throughout the entire 4 months. Recently, I noticed that there is about a week to 10 days of no discharge following my period, and then the spotting (then bleeding) starts up again for about 10 days BEFORE my actual period starts. The bleeding that precedes my period is not heavy at first, just spotting, and then gradually increases in volume as I near the start of my period.

    From what I have been reading online though, it seems that the recovery time post LEEP may depend on the grade of cell abnormality that one had prior to the procedure. Given that I had a CIN III – it is reasonable to assume that the doctor had to remove more cell tissue from my cervix than from a patient with less cell abnormality. It seems to be that this has a direct correlation on one’s experience with recovery and the length of time it takes for the body to heal.

    While I do tend to think of my situation using the reasoning above, the emotional and physical impact from the recovery are beginning to take their toll on me. I am a single, 26-year old, trying to date in an effort to establish my personal life. Yet, this horrible post-LEEP recovery is seriously affecting my motivation and actual ability of doing so.

    I know my post was mostly rambling, but I just felt the need to vent.

    Thank you for reading and I wish everyone a speedy recovery! Any comments or feedback from someone having a similar experience would be appreciated! :-)

    • gracefulfitness

      First of all, thank you for writing! I know that this can be a really hard and personal thing to talk about, I had huge trepidation towards writing about it in the beginning.
      Second, I fully understand the stress of recovery and the huge variance of “normal” within it. The stress leading up to the LEEP is so intense that I thought I’d feel a sense of relief once it was over and things would go back to normal but instead I had 4-5 weeks of discharge and a lot of pelvic pain and then another 4+ months of a constant tugging pain on my pubic bone.
      I will say that my 3 month follow up pap helped calm me quite a bit. My doctor is very nonchalant and while that can be irritating it also helped that he wasn’t concerned at all. Waiting for the results was hard but as soon as I heard everything was “normal” I felt like I could breath again and move on with life, I sincerely hope you still have the same experience.
      Another thing that has helped me in my recovery is to remember that just because I had the LEEP, this is not over. I know it sounds a little scary but I can also use it to my advantage; I remind myself that it is imperative to take good care of my body. I’ve continued with a lot of the natural regimen I was following before the LEEP. It is empowering to me to feel connected with my body that way and like I am doing what I can to be healthy.
      My thoughts are with you and I wish nothing but a full and swift recovery from this point forward. Please feel free to write again in a few weeks and let me know how it went at your follow up and if anything has changed. Sending you lots of love!

    • Hi everyone, this message is in reply to Carrie but also to Faith, and anyone else reading this thread. I so appreciate that you created this post Faith, its a great space for women to share their experiences about this procedure (which can be hard to get information about) I posted once before when I was a year out from the procedure. Carrie, I was also a CIN III and it sounds like Faith was too. From what I can tell everyone has very different experiences in their recovery; I did not have the long term bleeding you are speaking of, and from what I have read neither did Faith, but we both had long term symptoms that we were told we “should not” be experiencing. I just want to encourage you to hang in there and know that the emotional impact of the procedure and the after affect of how your body reacts (however it does) is real, and it makes sense you’re having a hard time. I definitely feel for you. And I really believe it is going to get better. Just keep being a great advocate for yourself and stick to your guns at the Doctors office!

      I also wanted to address what Faith said in her response comment that “recovery is to remember that just because I had the LEEP, this is not over” That is so true. After clean paps for over a year I got results that showed the displaysia was back. I was pretty devastated, I immediately started dreading the idea of going through the LEEP again, I did have a biopsy again but luckily the results at this point are benign. So I’m back to 3 month paps and we’ll wait and see. I don’t mention this to scare anyone but it has definitely been a wake up call for me and has really strengthened my desire to address my health (physical, mental, and emotional) in as many natural ways as I know how, to hopefully address the health issue on all levels. Good Luck to Carrie and everyone else going through this and I encourage people to update, its helpful to hear other’s experiences and where they are at.

  9. My post-leep story is a pretty horrid one. I had mine done 2 yrs ago. My first period afterwards came as just spotting. This was very abnormal for me, I’m a bleeder. So I spotted for a couple hours and then it quit; however my cramps intensified. I ended up driving myself to the er in the wee hours of the morning. After numerous tests i was sent to ultrasound. While being poked and prodded with the vaginal ultrasound wand, low and behold she broke up my scar tissue and the flood gates opened. I thought i was pretty special to be in the 1% of rare women to experience my cervix scarring shut. Anywho 2 yrs later, my periods are very light and very painful. My ob swears that my cervix is good to go, but i don’t feel that she is taking me seriously. I have also been trying to get pregnant with no success, i have to wonder…if stuff can barely get out, how will the swimmers get in?

    • Oh girl, you’re story brought tears to my eyes because I can only imagine the stress, anxiety, and frustration you may be feeling. So sorry to hear about your experience, truly. Have you/can you seek a second opinion? Are you open to an alternative route? I don’t know what acupuncture can do for the scarring but I’ve found it to do wonders for my stress and my acu told me she has great hormone balancing herbs when I’m ready for pregnancy. Lots of love to you and thanks for writing.

  10. I am having through leep procedure done in two days. I am terrified. I am getting married in December and this was a huge bump in our plans. We both want children so bad so just the thought of that not being a possibility is devastating. I had quite a bit of pain after the colpo and biopsy. I have researched my butt off and Idk what is right for me. My doctor is wonderful and i trust her completely. Im just so scared. I have been fighting panic attacks since i found out. Do any of you have any advice for keeping calm.

    • First of all, I am really sorry to hear that you are going through that. Second, bring your fiancé into the procedure if possible and if you are comfortable with it. Not to give you more anxiety but I found it painful and having Tate there to soothe me and let me squeeze his hand (like crazy) helped. Also, give yourself rest that day and the next. Like, don’t plan anything if possible. Your doc may say its not a big deal and you can work or go about your life but it is a big deal and you may feel tender physically and emotionally for a while afterward. I was uncomfortably crampy for at least 24 hours and probably should have taken it even easier for 4-5 days afterward. Lots of love and best wishes, please come back and let me know how you are doing if you feel up to sharing.

  11. I had a LEEP done about 5 days ago for CIN III. I was under general anesthesia and so didn’t feel anything. Recovery so far hasn’t been too bad. Not that much pain really. I only had some discharge for the first 2-3 days, but was really bloated and had to pee a lot. That was the worst of it, and even that’s getting much better now.

    Although it sounds scary ladies, if your doc recommends it, please get it done. Don’t leave it until it’s too late. you’ll have a much better shot to have babies if you don’t need a hysterectomy, chemo or radiation in the future. Some women aren’t so lucky …

  12. Thank you for sharing your experience, I had a LEEP procedure a few days ago, and I am still shaken and really needed to kmow that not everyone recovers in 2 or 3 days…

    • Nadia,
      No, recovery is frustratingly slow for many women, including myself. The physical and mental aspects of the LEEP will fade with time though, keep breathing and being kind to yourself. Best wishes to you! I will send lots of swift recovery thoughts your way!

  13. Thanks for the encouraging words. Everything went as planned but nine days after my procedure I had major bleeding and had to go to the emergency room. Apparently it is a normal occurrence. The doc said I overdid it at work. But everything is back to normal and I’m cancer free!!

    • Ericka, so glad to hear that everything came back clear!! Thanks for letting me know! I’m one year past the LEEP and looking back I feel like it took me at least 7 months to ‘get over it’ and not let the whole thing be a part of my day to day life.

  14. Thanks to all of you for sharing your experience. I had the procedure 7 days ago. The actual procedure wasn’t bad at all. I felt completely fine the first 3 or 4 days (on Ibuprofen & prescription pain killers), little discharge. Now, yucky discharge & bleeding, very bloated, severe lower back pain & cramping the past 3 days. Doctor called me with lab results on Monday and now recommends a hysterectomy. So unfortunately I’ll be dealing with this for a while! I can resume light exercise tomorrow so I’m hoping I will start to feel better…

    • Thank you for sharing and I’m so sorry to hear that the results of your LEEP weren’t clear. My thoughts are with you. I hope your recovery is progressing well. Lots of love, faith

  15. Firstly: thank you ALL for posting on this subject and with such clarity and articulation. After many abnormal paps over the last few years and 2 biopsies, I had my first (and hopefully last) LEEP a few days ago. I agree with the procedure and felt centered and did lots of work with my acupuncturists and even yoga teacher to find strength and openness in my hips and mental state to welcome the treatment and use nutrition and health changes to heal and move on. ALL that being said: It freakin sucked!!! It was more brutal than I was in an way prepared for. While anxiety prior to such an event isn’t encouraged, give a lady some honest truth before and during! I’m Irish, stubborn, a double Capricorn, and covered in tattoos, and a bartender! Now I can’t lift anything heavy( key to my job) and feel totally unprepared for what happened. I’m only cic one, but please tell your doctors to be straight with how to mentally prepare and get an anti-anxiety pill for before and water pills and pain pills for after. I’m doing homeopathy and all my normal traditional healing practice, but western medicine is mandatory. Also I put one ear bud in and had my meditation music on my phone to help control my breathing and visual distraction. Strongly suggest! My positive and healing energy to you all and fingers crossed to no other form of HPV in my future or yours

    • gracefulfitness

      Thank you so much for writing and sharing. My heart goes out to you for having to deal with the whole situation. From my personal experience it takes a lot of time to heal, in every way. Physically, it was several months before I felt more or less recovered. Even still I have some symptoms that linger (I should post on this soon). Emotionally, my 3 month follow up pap last February brought a lot of healing. I had a lot of anxiety about the appointment then held my breath waiting for the results. When the phone call came in that it was “normal” I had a rush of relief that made me realize just how much stress and tension I’d been holding on to. After about 6 months post LEEP I finally felt like it was in the past.
      Thanks again for sharing and Im sending you tons of healing thoughts.
      Love, f

  16. i had a leep procedure done about 2-3 mths ago and i have to say omg this sux. i have had sharp pains since the procedure and as far as periods my bleeding is the same but cramping is crazy.. so painful. of corse the dr says im healing beautifully but i dont feel it. also i was bleeding from intercorse even tho they said i souldnt have been. Nothing feels the same on my insides now and i get terrable migraines. did anyone else get migraines after the procedure? i got them b4 but not this bad, there so bad now it affects my vision. im glad i found this page because it shows me im not the only one who is having trouble after the leep. i hope everyone a speedy recovery and thank you so much for sharing

    • gracefulfitness

      Oh girl, your comment brought tears to my eyes! I’m so sorry you are going through that. Its been a year and a half since my LEEP and my PMS and period pain has gotten increasingly more intense, bleeding heavier, and more clotting. It’s on my to-do list today to make a doc appointment, including trying to change doc’s on my friends recommendation. I’ve had two follow-ups (February 2012 and September 2012) and both times my doc said I was healing great and he wasn’t concerned that I am still experiencing pain and mysterious symptoms. SO frustrating. I am going to write some follow-up posts soon. Once again, so sorry you are going through this. Lots of love and healing thoughts coming your way. Faith

  17. Everyones stories have touched me greatly. I had my leep done 10 days ago. Today i was suppose to return to work, which i did 3 hours into working i doubled over in pain, im not one to cry but it hurt so bad. It was a free for all. Cramps feel the same as day 2, i was starting to think i was just weak( i dont do pain well) because my doctor told me i would be fine. She is great but i am still.waiting for her to call me back after 7 hours of my first call. I havent recieved any results yet that is this friday. Hot and cold flashes sweating but no fever. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone.

  18. I had a Leep done 10 days ago. I’ve gone back to the Dr. twice because of pain. Both times they had to stick a speculum inside me in order to “see” the cervix and I honestly feel like I know what it is to be tortured. I’m concerned because the speculum wasn’t even touching my cervix – has anyone else had this? I’m so tired of the pain. My Dr. keeps telling me nothing appears to be wrong, I’m healing nicely, blah blah blah. Meanwhile I’m in low-grade constant pain that intensifies if I have to go to the bathroom or with any “pushing”. Ugh, this is so embarrassing. I can’t imagine ever being able to have sex again pain free – It just want my life back!!!

    • gracefulfitness

      First of all, I sincerely hope that your pain has decreased and you are on the mend from the LEEP. I was unpleasantly surprised by how long it took me to heal, probably at least 4 months before I didn’t think about it regularly. My heart goes out to you, feel free to write again if you need to talk about your experience. I personally found it helpful, emotionally, to write about it on here and talk to people about it, even though I tend to be a really private person in general.
      Lots of love to you.

  19. Iv just read all your comments and im so relieved im not alone! I was cin 3 and had treatment 3mths ago but im getting a really sharp pain to the right of my cervix (i think thats where the treatment was done) im not due another colposcopy until sept,no bleeding or discharge just the sharp pain.i to felt awful after treatment it really upset me,and i felt down about it for weeks and i am really dreading going back in sept incase i need more!

  20. I have had 3 LEEP procedures now and each of them wasn’t painful at all. My OBGYN is female and she has been very thorough each time in anesthetizing (perhaps because she is more apt to know what it feels like). She also explained to me that some doctors can cut away more tissue than is necessary which can lead to discomfort down the road. She makes sure to only cut away as much is necessary and the procedure it self takes under a minute. All the numbing up and explaining takes the longest. The biggest issue that I have had is that I have noticed an increase in pain during my menstrual cycle. Its been really frustrating because it seems I have a very stubborn strain and it just won’t go away and all anyone can tell me is “Don’t smoke” which is irritating since I do not and I don’t hang out in bars and other places where I would get 2nd hand smoke. Good luck with your health.

  21. Jennifer Burson

    Hi. I had the LEEP surgery done about 4 weeks ago and have seen my Dr and he reported that I was healing well and that I could have sex. But when my boyfriend and I had sex, it was so painful that he had to pull out. My Dr also reported that I had full blown cancer that had spread further than he realized. I’m just afraid that something went wrong because he also removed the rest of my hymen that was causing pain. I just want to make love with my boyfriend, he’s been so patient. I’m afraid that my Dr screwed something up, he’s a Medicaid Dr and not very attentive.

    • gracefulfitness

      Oh sweetheart, I’m so sorry to hear you are going through this. Can you switch doctors at least? I am working with a really wonderful woman now. She still comes from a super straight-line allopathic standpoint but she is very attentive and makes me feel like she is actually hearing my concerns. Sending you lots of love!

  22. after being told in April of 2013 I had hpv and pap was abnormal my life stopped, I wAs 39 years old. I went through two colposcopes, then it was leep time there was moderate dysplasia between 11 and 1. It is now March 10th 2014 the day for the leep so for now a year almost my life stopped. I go in and it hurt so bad I can’t even cope, no bleeding or discharge yet but some mild cramping and it was three days ago. I do t understand if you still have the hpv virus what keeps it from coming right back. I’m so scared and confused. The emotional feelings I had overcome me after the procedure was worse then the pain though. Help me cope with this.

    • gracefulfitness

      My heart goes out to you. I just responded to your comment with my latest post, Oversharing. Best wishes, love, and hugs coming your way. Faith

  23. I had the LEEP procedure done yesterday so it is too early to tell what my recovery will be and if this is the final step in this journey of mine. Im still really scared of what the outcome will be seeing as how it has gotten worse from when I had the biopsy done in early February. I do know that I have a very attentive gynecologist who will see me at the drop of a hat and listens to my concerns. I have a feeling that with the discomfort I’ve experienced just after having the biopsy done that my LEEP recovery will not be an easy one.

    • gracefulfitness

      Thank you so much for writing Michelle. Based on personal experience, I highly recommend you take it really easy for at least a week, even if your doc says you are fine to return to normal activity. I am finding it really helpful to continue with my supplement plan, it makes me feel empowered and proactive. I am thinking about writing a post outlining what I’m taking but in the meantime if you are interested in doing your own research I found this paper informative and in line with all the other research I came across. Page 11 is where the supplement studies start.
      Sending you best wishes for a swift and complete recovery.

  24. I had mine done on Friday (today’s Monday) and so far I’m doing ok. I had mine done at a sugery center and they knocked me out – I recommend that and count myself lucky to have been knocked out. I’m so sorry to hear those horrific stories. So if you can, maybe have it done at a surgery center and tell them you don’t want to be awake :)

    I have cramping and light discharge, and slept for all of Friday and laid around on Sat and some of Sunday, still tired but getting better. What are some homeopathic ways to beat this crap?

    I’m so thankful we can have this treatment at all, before it turns to cervical cancer. I lost my aunt to ovarian cancer a couple months ago becauset hey caught it too late, so thankful we can catch it early. Hang in there ladies! I’m w/ ya!

  25. Hi ladies..
    I had my leep procedure on Monday morning,, because of abnormal Pap smear..I had anthesia .. I wanted to be out for this surgery.. Today is Friday.. The day after surgery I got home and rested,, slept abit.. I was very thirsty.. Extremely dry mouth. Very dizzy,, walked with a bent over back.. No bleeding. Bloated belly.. Bad headache.. For the past few days.. I have been getting sharp pains and watery discharge,, I get up to pee every half hour it’s crazy!! I had a UTI before the surgery.. So Iam wondering if I have another one ??I take 1000mg of Tylenol.. And took just last night 5mg of morphine the pain was making me cry, it took the age off,, it was hard to get to sleep,, got me dizzy.., Iam a strong lady , I have had 5 pregnancies,, 2 vaginal births.. Gave birth to babies 21 weeks,, and 20 weeks lost them,.. Have a incompetent cervix . Had to stay in the hospital lay in bed legs upright . Wasn’t aloud to walk.sit up. Shower!! Complete bed rest!! Water broke at 24 weeks,, emergency c-section. My son was born 24 weeks stayed in nicu for mos.. He is 10 years old today.. My tummy is so swollen) bloated it’s like Iam 5 months pregnant!! I can’t wear pants,, hoping it gets better,, I hope I don’t bleed I was haemorrhaging 1 week before the leep.. And was hospitalized was given meds through I.V… Taking one day at a time.. I tried to do housework like vacuming and washing the floors,, but got dizzy and was sweating,, so I think I will take it easy now.. Good luck to all,, god bless.. Keep strong!!

  26. I had written back in April about the LEEP and the results of it had come back a few weeks later. It was cancer. I will admit…I was a wreck and some days I still am. My best option was to have a hysterectomy which was done a few weeks ago. I never wanted to have children so I was ok with it. Now that the deed is done, im sad that I no longer have the option to have my own. I would now take the LEEP any day over this. I go back on Tuesday to see if I require any additional treatment. Crossing my fingers that I don’t.

  27. I’m 26, had CIN 2 and I had the LEEP 3 days ago. Aside from the speculum entering, it was pretty much painless, which was such a great relief because pap smears and colposcopys are so painful and uncomfortable for me. The whole procedure took about 5 minutes, thank goodness. So after inserting the speculum, she used a q-tip to put some dye on the area to highlight the abnormal cells to be removed. This causes some minor cramping. Then, she injected the medicine which caused my legs to shake uncontrollably. I was embarrassed but they told me it was fine and not to try to control it. They turned on the vacuum like machine which made a lot of noise and then then there was a strong burning smell. She did about 4 or 5 “scrapes”(not sure if that’s the right word). She put something on it to stop the bleeding and then it was over. I actually broke out in tears after it was over — no idea why. I think that I just felt overwhelmed and unsure about what was going on with my body. The first OBGYN I went to at my university medical clinic to have my pap done gave me so much wrong information. I left feeling like I was on the brink of cervical cancer. Also, people (including gynecologists!) act like its taboo to talk about HPV when it seems like almost everyone has it. My current gyn is so knowledgeable about it, but then again, this is her specialty. Either way, she only gives information about HPV if you ask specific questions, so you have to know what to ask, which pisses me off.

    Anyway, I actually had to move some boxes at my job the very next day and felt strong enough to do it, so I did. I don’t think that was expressly wise, but I’m recovering so far without any complications (I think). Mostly just a constant watery-red discharge so I have to wear pantiliners. My doctor didn’t tell me anything about not having sex. She only mentioned that I will need to be seen in 6 months, but when I checked out, no one asked me about scheduling an appointment. I have no idea if she’s going to call me back with the results from the LEEP. This thread has been informative. I’m gonna give my doctor’s office a call now. I’m also gonna go without sex for 2 months to make sure I’m fully recovered. This post has been so helpful and I hope my experience can help someone else out.

  28. It’s 2015 – I suppose most people from this thread would have moved on now. I don’t even know what country this blog originates.

    However, 6 months after my LEEP procedure I am still addressing the repercussions.
    These forums share so much more than the 4 doctors I have attended. I am so thankful to you all for your upfront honesty.

    I had a terrible first time pap smear. I was in my early 20’s. My sexual experiences were minimal. I had no support network. The nurse doing the pap had an intern with her. They opened me up, told me my something-or-other was too high, and spend a good 20 minutes foraging around down there. I was told to relax as my obvious tension was making it difficult for them to do the work.
    Distraught and emotionally sensitive, I never returned for another pap.

    6 years later, while in a doctors surgery supporting my friend, a receptionist at the doctors randomly asks me to do a pap smear. She said it was important and asked me when my last one was. When I kept cancelling the appointments she would call my mobile number each week until I attended. She may have saved my life.

    The pap took 30 seconds (with me freaking out every single minute before and during). The doctor was amazing. I returned, and she advised I had an abnormal pap – that I needed to attend the specialist immediately. She gave me a letter and off I went. The specialist took me in a day later, discussed openly the appointments coming up, and said they needed to do a biopsy.

    Biopsy hurt a little, I’ll admit. They were meant to do a vinegar test, and another chemical test. But when she put the vinegar on my cervix nearly the entire surface went a white colour. She didn’t do the second test – just took the pap and explained that no, I don’t have cancer – but she needs to send off to pathology and find out whats going on.
    My lower abdomen felt like it was turning in on itself a week after.

    The specialist confirmed I had CINIII (a lot of it), but not cancer – I cried my eyes out.

    They discussed the three procedures they were reviewing to remove the CINIII – LEEP, Lazer, or Cone. The doctor said they wanted to do LEEP on me, as I want to have babies in future and the Leep would not remove as many cm’s as the Cone. They discussed with me how and why I may have CINIII, confirmed that I can’t feel awful about having contracted HPV (the STD that created the abnormal cells) and explained that just about every person out there who has had sex has a form of HPV. They told me not to carry guilt for not having my pap smear done earlier, that they understood the hesitation but what was important now was to address the issue and continue regular check ups.

    I had the LEEP procedure done within a fortnigh from the original doctors pap smear test. All of my friends who have had it done (all had children before their procedures) told me it was a piece of cake and I would be normal the next day.

    I couldn’t walk the next day. I thought after a day it was all in my head so I went back to work. I sat down in the kitchen area that morning, clenching my stomach and turning white in the face. I started shaking, and my discharge started to smell. I went to the local doctor – who told me I must have an infection and gave me Doxylin 100 subscription. I went to the chemist, and collapsed on the floor. I wasn’t in pain – but my insides were pulling themselves apart and I all I felt was a numbness – without being able to move. Then the pain started. It was so abnormal – not like a cut or a burn. Just this major pulling sensation like my body had done a major abdominal work out and was continuing on past exhaustion.

    My partner picked me up, we drove to the hospital but the line up was very big, and my body was shaking. The first dose of medication led to a severe reaction and I became stoned out – unable to respond much to anything. I called the specialist, they told me to return to the doctor as I was given incorrect medication.

    I went to another doctor from the same surgery – who told me my shaking was just from emotional stress, checked my cervix and said it was healing, and told me to take smaller dosed medication as the Doxylin was too strong. I advised the doctor I had been experiencing body issues where my legs and body just stop – along with all the other things going on. The doctor told me I shouldn’t be experiencing that.

    I called my friends. They said it was probably from stress. At this stage, four doctors had opened my legs to check what might be happening in there.

    Another fortnight later, of each day experiencing pulling issues, shaking, and a ‘leg lock’ where my legs just stop – I went to see the specialist in concern. My partner urged me to, and tried to support me each step of the way. Finally, the specialist said that my symptoms reflected something quite uncommon – that he had only seen in women who had the procedure during menopause. He told me that it may be that the LEEP procedure occurred when my period was trying to come through – but as my period only ever comes intermittently we couldn’t track it to be sure. He said that my body might be attempting to bleed, but is being ‘stopped’ from doing so. Other doctors told me this was ridiculous but I think the specialist might be onto something. It’s been 6 months now and I still experience severe shaking and stomach pulling – and leg lock each time I exercise strenuously.

    I am not writing this to scare anyone. I don’t regret having LEEP done – but didn’t realise there was an option to not have it done. The doctors seemed pretty adamant on addressing what was going on whether I wanted to or not.
    I have been told that in two years I can try for babies :)

    But I will say, that regardless of how many doctors you go to – who tell you ‘you shouldn’t be experiencing this’, press on. And on. I thought I was insane – and so many people have said that my symptoms are purely anxiety and emotional – until they see the leg shakes or leg locks for themselves.

    By talking about our experiences, maybe we can urge medical authorities out there to DOCUMENT these symptoms post procedure. Maybe a researcher out there, someday (if they haven’t already) will find out why our bodies are reacting to the procedure and find a better way. But we won’t ever find out unless we openly discuss our experience and our symptoms – and what happens after.

    I am writing to urge anyone out there to speak openly, as everyone has done on this blog for a couple of years. Most women don’t experience issues post LEEP procedures, but nothing can be improved or looked into unless we say something when things don’t go right.

    I wish you all the best in healing, and a happy future ahead.

    – Hayley

  29. I had a LEEP 2 days ago for CIN3. Doctor said I had no restrictions and should have no bleeding or pain. So I went home and was playing with my 3yr old daughter when I felt a gush. My daughter rolling on me knocked a clot loose. My husband rushed me to the emergency room and by simply laying there the bleeding allowed down. Now it’s like a light period. I have cramping and bloating and it sucks. I find out in two weeks if I need a hysterectomy. The ER was shocked the doctor didn’t give me restrictions and thinking about it I feel like DUH they cut chunks of me out. OF COURSE the recovery will suck a little. You live and learn I suppose.

    • gracefulfitness

      Hi Rachel,

      First, so sorry you had that experience! It’s a hard enough thing to go through without any complications. I too am so surprised your doc didn’t give you restrictions. I was told no exercise (even light) for the rest of the day, no sex or anything (tampons, etc.) in there for a month, and that there would be bleeding and then discharge (with an odor) for about a month.

      Sending you a hug and healthy cervix thoughts,

  30. Hi everyone.
    I had my LEEP 2 weeks ago. My biopsy (after colposcopy) showed CINIII or severe dysplasia. Later on, an addendum was performed on my biopsy report. I suppose sometimes, they go back at look further into CINIII cases to do further review. The secondary biopsy report said (in fancy medical terms) that certain cells reflected CINIII when tested further and certain cells simply showed inflammation. It said that because this biopsy could be mistaken for inflammation and not CINIII that “the patient may wish to seek different therapeutic treatment”. I am sure that means the patient might reconsider having a LEEP. My gynecologist still recommended treatment. My husband and I decided that my fear of having precancerous cells or the possibility of them turning into something worse was simply not worth “waiting it out”, so I decided to go ahead with the LEEP. Apparently, inflammation being mistaken for CIN III is not uncommon! Inflammation of the cervix can be caused from tampon irritation, infection, sex, even frequent bubble baths that cause build up of bacteria.

    As I am healing, I am finding myself second guessing my decision to do this. I too, along with most of you, have had non-stop discharge, pain in the lower back, pelvic pain, and the worst one (to me)- BLOATING. I wake up bloated. (I use to love waking up with a flat tummy, now it’s the opposite). I have to remind myself how terrified I was leading up to the Leep because I felt like every day that was passing was an opportunity for those nasty cells to get worse. I suppose going back and forth with this is normal and I have to be ok with that. Having symptoms that affect your daily life will certainly make you second guess yourself.

    I want to assure the ladies out there who are awaiting their LEEP that the anticipation is the worst part. I went in quite nervous, but it wasn’t all that bad and is over and done with before you know. I took an ativan beforehand to calm my nerves and 800mg of ibuprofen. I also asked if I could listen to my meditation music on my phone beside my head on the table!!! Hey whatever works right? It calms me down. I wouldn’t listen to the horror stories of LEEPs. Please, skip those once you hear “horrifying” and “excruciating”. We are far too advanced in medical care for women to be feeling their leep procedures and being in excruciating pain.

    Now that I know, thanks for this thread, that I can expect these nagging symptoms for some time to come, I won’t become too impatient and irritated with all of this. It’s all a process.

    Good luck everyone!

  31. I had the LEEP procedure March 11th, 2015. When I got the news from my doctor I became very depressed and still depressed. I’ve only had one partner since I was 24-33 year old so I know where the HPV came from. I told him and he completely denies that he gave it to me. I cut off any interactions with him bc he’s cheated several times and will not admit that he has it. I feel dirty, ashamed, and terribly embarrassed. I feel even my doctor looks at me with disgust. I’m scared and not one day passes I don’t think about it. My HPV turned out to be high risk after having the LEEP. My cycle came on after I had the procedure so I had that bleeding without much pain. I was put to sleep so that gave me a little comfort before the surgery. I had little discharge also, it hurt me emotionally, mentally more than anything. I’m more afraid now because I have these pin and needle feeling in my thighs and I’m having all kinds of bad thoughts. I’m not imagining it, I been feeling it for several weeks now. I feel a little bit of dull pain on the inside but the pain in my thighs and sometimes sharp pain in my buttock area scares me. I’ve thought about blood clots, cancer that may have spread to my lymph nodes. I don’t have swelling but where I feel the pain is close to my private area. Has anyone else experienced this after a mth of having the surgery?? I cry and upset everyday and don’t have anyone to talk to about it. I have not gone back for my 3 mth appointment but I’m so scared that it’ll still be there. I just scared my doctor will look at me like I’m crazy when I tell him what I’m feeling. I don’t wanna die and the doctor told me that it’s NOT cancer but I’m so scared that it will quickly turn into cancer especially with this new pain I’m feeling in the inside of my thighs. Can someone please tell me if they’ve experienced this!?! I just lay in bed and don’t want to do anything, it’s like I hiding bc I’m embarrassed and feel like everyone know this secret about me. I don’t have children and fear I’ll never be able to carry a baby full term so I’ve given up on that and don’t want to be involved with anyone else fearing I get HPV again. I’m scared out of my mind and just can cope I don’t know what to do…please help.

  32. I had my leep done a week ago today. I wasn’t too stressed bc it had to b done. I was found to b high grade. Although since procedure if I work to hard I’ll bleed some, constant discharge, lower back pain, cramping, urinating all time. I never want go through this again. Went dr wed make sure everything ok they said all looks fine. But I feel miserable.

  33. thank you for sharing your stories. I have cin3 and high risk hpv and I am dreading the leep. I’m trying so hard to stay strong I went to 2 doctors already which both seem like it’s not real serious and I will be perfectly fine. It worries me if it comes back. my thoughts and prayers are with everyone.

  34. Hi Ladies,
    I have been trying to research if bloating was normal after LEEP procedure. I had the LEEP done May 13, 2015 & my experience was fine. Actually, was curious as to why I told not to work for two days because I felt like nothing was done. I think the scariest part was being put to sleep for it. It is now Saturday 3 days post LEEP & I feel like I am 3-4 months pregnant. I feel heavy, swollen & my stomach has expanded due to bloating. For any of you who have experienced severe bloating how long would you say is normal? I was on my 11th week of T25 & my stomach was flat & toned… I literally feel very pregnant & hating it… Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • I had mine done the day after yours, and am still experiencing EXTREME bloat. I quit smoking cold turkey when my doctor told me my dysplasia had gone from mild to moderate/severe, so I was already experiencing some bloating and constipation as a side effect from that (apparently that’s a thing that happens when you quit smoking). So, I have been attributing my bloat and discomfort to that this whole time, but, it’s been almost an entire month since I quit, and I seriously could pass for second trimester pregnancy right now. It’s awful.

      I was starting to freak out a little, because, why on earth would I be bloated 2 weeks after a LEEP?? I had no idea that was even a possible side effect, until I started googling today, and saw a handful of women with the same complaint.

      And I can relate, I’ve lost 80 pounds in the last 18 months, and was just getting used to waking up with a flat stomach. I had JUST bought my very first non-plus-sized swimsuit, and replaced my fat jeans with ones that actually fit, and now I can’t even wear them. I’ve pulled out my baggy t-shirts again. Quite discouraging :(

      Anyway, I’m hoping someone comes along to answer your question, because I’m curious as well. This is driving me crazy. I’m supposed to wait another 2 weeks for my follow up appointment, but I’m going to call my doctor first thing Monday morning to see if I can get some answers.

      • gracefulfitness

        Hi Shannon,

        First of all, huge congratulations on losing 80 pounds AND quitting smoking!!! That’s really awesome, you must be really proud.
        Second, I am truly sorry to hear that you had to have a LEEP. How are you feeling now?


  35. Katrice Nirris

    A month ago I went into my ob/gyn to have a Pap smear done. My dr called me back a week later to inform me that the Pap smear revealed I have 4 precancerous cells and I needed to have a biopsy on my uterus immediately. Another week passed after having the biopsy, I was informed that not only do I have stage 2 precancerous cells, I also had HPV

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