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A reality of dating and being se...

Posted Sep 14 2008 1:18pm

A reality of dating and being sexually active is the dreaded human papilloma virus (HPV) that can many times causes abnormal pap smears or worse, cervical cancer.

A loop electrosurgical excision procedure or LEEP is given to women with persistent abnormal pap smears as a result of cervical dysplasia, which is a change in cervical cells. The LEEP is no fun, but it may also be a life saver by preventing cervical cancer.

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that many men and women contract in their 20s, although many people don’t ever show symptoms like warts or for women, abnormal paps. If your doctor feels that your persistent abnormal pap smears or dysplasia can be remedied by the LEEP procedure don’t fret; it’s manageable.

Here are the LEEP facts:

1) This is done as an outpatient procedure by your doctor
2) You won’t be put under, but a local anesthetic will be used
3) It lasts only a few minutes
4) Using a device that is in the shape of a loop, electrical currents are sent to the device to scoop out the troubled portions of your cervix (sounds worse than it is)
5) Once the doctor is done you are free to leave
6) You may be crampy and will have bleeding, but most of the time this stops after a couple of days

Bring a friend or someone you can count on to drive you home. It also might be a good idea to take the day off and just relax. Even though it is outpatient its can be a little traumatic.

Women who have a LEEP are able to carry a pregnancy full term and in most cases the occurrence of cervical cancer after a LEEP is very rare. In fact, most times pap smears return to normal within a year.

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