Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP): What to Expect at Home

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Your Recovery

The cervix and its location in the body

You may have mild cramping for several hours after the procedure. A dark brown vaginal discharge during the first week is normal. You can use a sanitary pad for the bleeding.

You may also have some spotting for about 3 weeks. How long it takes to recover will depend on how much was done during the procedure.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Activity

  • You should be able to go back to your normal activities in 1 to 3 days.

Medicines

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if and when to start taking those medicines again. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.

Exercise

  • Do not exercise for 1 to 3 days after the procedure.

Other instructions

  • Use a sanitary pad if you have bleeding.
  • Do not have sexual intercourse or use tampons for 3 weeks. Do not douche. This will allow your cervix to heal.
  • You can take a shower anytime after the procedure. Ask your doctor when it is okay to take a bath.
  • Be sure to have regular follow-up Pap tests. Your doctor can tell you how often you need to have Pap tests.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding. This means that you are soaking through your usual pads every hour for 2 or more hours.
  • You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain.
    • Vaginal discharge that smells bad.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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