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

The cervix and its location in the body

Your Recovery

You may have mild cramping for several hours after the procedure. A dark brown vaginal discharge during the first week is normal. This is from medicine used during the procedure.

You may also have some spotting (or bleeding like a light period) for about 3 weeks. You can use a sanitary pad for the bleeding.

Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for yourself at home?


  • You should be able to go back to your normal activities the following day.


  • If you take Aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor when to start taking it again.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve) as advised by the clinic. 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.

Other instructions

  • Expect to have some bleeding or spotting following the procedure. You may have bleeding for up to 3 weeks or you may have little or no bleeding. Use sanitary pads if you have bleeding.
  • After LEEP, there is a risk of infection and bleeding. For 3 weeks, to help reduce risk of infection, do not:
    • Have sexual intercourse.
    • Use tampons.
    • Douche.
    • Use a hot tub.
    • Swim.
    • Put anything in your vagina.
  • You can take a shower anytime after the procedure.
  • Be sure to arrange your follow-up appointment with the clinic.

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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have chest pain, are short of breath, or cough up blood.

Call your doctor or nurse advice line (811) now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain.
    • A fever.
    • A bad smell.
  • You have bright red vaginal bleeding that soaks one or more pads in an hour, or you have large clots.
  • You have vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad.

Where can you learn more?

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