How soon is it ok to have sexual intercourse after having LEEP or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure?

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure or LEEP involves the removal of abnormal cells in the cervix. This is also known a cervical dysplasia. The cervix is the uterus opening and is encompassed in a thin tissue layer that is composed of cells. As new cells grow, the cells at the bottom move upwards to the surface. Some of the cells may suffer damage or abnormalities and these begin to grow in a different manner. In some cases, the damaged cells may pose a risk of cancer and hence need to be removed. These abnormal cervical cells are usually detected during a pap smear. During this procedure a wire loop electrode serves as a surgical scalpel. It is attached to an electrosurgical generator by which an electric current is passed through the loop wire. This serves to slice away the affected tissue layer of the cervix. This results in heating of the abnormal cells which then burst and allow the tissue to become separated as the loop moves through the tissues of the cervix.

After the procedure, slight discomfort and pain may occur and bleeding may also take place. Sexual intercourse is not be engaged in after the LEEP. All physicians recommend this, along with taking other precautions. These include avoidance of lifting heavy things, using tampons, douches and also taking bath in a bath tub, as this could increase the risk of infection. The recommended time duration that one should wait for having sexual intercourse is about three to four weeks. Even if the individual feels fine in the following days, it is still important to wait as the area of the cervix is still quite sensitive since tissue has been removed. The healing process needs time and must not be disturbed. Oral stimulation does not pose a problem. Only penetration of any kind in the vaginal area is not recommended.

During the recovery period the woman may take the necessary steps to aid the healing process. Bleeding that may occur after the LEEP can be dealt with using sanitary pads. Tampons will cause further irritation and hence must be strictly avoided. Even use of tampons for normal menstrual flow for up to two months after the procedure must be practiced only after consulting the doctor. Physical activity must be avoided for a couple of days after the surgery. Regular physical exercise can be resumed after a couple of weeks. Three to four weeks after the LEEP, the woman must undergo a routine check up with the doctor and this will also be around the same time that vaginal penetration can be resumed.

answered by G M

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