Pregnancy after LEEP Procedure

Archived Q&A and Reviews

March 2004

I will be having the LEEP Procedure and want to become pregnant again. For people who have done this, are there a lot of risks in pregnancy or any complications in the future? thank you for your story, comments, advice. anon

Hi. Good Luck with your LEEP procedure. I had this procedure performed in 1996, then went on to have 2 children (one in 1999 and one last year) with zero problems. My OB/GYN did remark that she noticed my cervix was missing it's tip, but it does not, to my knowledge, cause cervical incompetence or anything like that. I will say, though, that the LEEP procedure was pretty uncomfortable and the subsequent bleeding was extensive (6 weeks) and painful. Also I bled black, so don't be shocked. But pregnancy and childbirth following this was a breeze. Best of luck. Christine
Hi, I had LEEP done in February 99. I had almost no bleeding afterward and no pain at all. I saw a Dr at Walnut Creek Family Planning on Oakland St, sorry that I can't remember his name, he was wonderful. Two months later I was pregnant, a big surprise. I had no problems, even delivered two weeks late! My baby is a healthy 4 year old. I've since had two more children and my cervix has held up just fine. Hope everything goes just as smoothly for you! R
Hi, I would not worry. I had a much more invasive ''cone section'' done 2 years prior to my first pregnancy, and had no problem. I also had the leep done 6 weeks after my child was born, and went on to a completely unremarkable second pregnancy. lj
I had a LEEP done in 1997 and got pregnant easily in 2000 (it was my first). I was more concerned about scar tissue on my cervix not allowing me to dilate completely, because I had heard of that as a possible issue. So I took evening prrimose oil during the month before I was due, and had a very easy 8 hour labor. My cervix went from 4cm to 10cm in just an hour and a half and I had a wonderful natural birth. So I had no trouble with either getting pregnant or delivery (I'm also pregnant again with no trouble). I just thought I would share my positive story. Also, I've yet to have another negative pap smear. Good Luck! Brooke
First...sorry for the long response. LEEP procedure does have its complications. I chose to wait. Key factors in the decision for me were the stage of the abnormal cells, the amount of the cervix that had been compromised by the abnormal cells (i.e. how many quadrants are involved), and when I was planning to TRY to get pregnant. I was found to have abnormal cells for the first time 1 year ago. Because I had High Grade Ductal Carcinoma in-situ 2 years ago and ended up with a mastectomy I was in the high-risk category for other female cancers. I had abnormal cells in 3 different quadrants of my cervix, but none were cancerous yet. I decided to track the progress with serial colposcopies because: the cells were pre-cancerous, of the \xc2\x93slow growing type\xc2\x94 (I was told by my OB), I was newly married at 38, we wanted to start trying to have children right away and I didn\xc2\x92t want to wait the 4 months after the procedure to start trying to get pregnant. I was also told that there is no research out there that states pregnancy speeds the growth of these types of cancers. So, I had serial colposcopies every 3 months (with biopsies on the first & 3rd) and started adhering to Dr. Andrew Weil\xc2\x92s recommendations (Book: Spontaneous Healing) for boosting my immune system through supplements and diet. By 9 months after the initial diagnosis I was told that there were no longer any abnormal cells! My immune system kicked in and did the job and/or the biopsies removed all the abnormal cells. You have some big choices here, because the risks after the LEEP are possibly an incompetent cervix (one that is unable to contain the growing fetus, and results in miscarriage) albeit a low risk but still a significant risk. Unfortunately, there is no way to diagnosis this prior to a miscarriage. Other complications less grave are scarring to the cervix. This only becomes a problem with vaginal deliveries, as the section of the cervix that was subject to the hot wire tends not to dilate at the same rate as the rest of the cervix. Labor can be prolonged but scar massage during labor can help the cervix along, but is painful. If you do have a LEEP and become pregnant, be sure to tell all the staff that will be attending you at your birth that this procedure was done and if you can remember which areas of the cervix was/were involved\xc2\x85so you don\xc2\x92t get labeled as a \xc2\x93failure to progress\xc2\x94. Discuss all the options with your OB. Why do I need this? What are the consequences if I wait 3 months? What will happen if things remain stable, I get pregnant and suddenly the cells look worse? Do you know of any patients that have had this procedure, gone on to get pregnant within the following year that would be willing to talk with me about their experience? (I say one year because healing can take up to 18 months to mature, I don't know if there is increased risk to the cervix before this time, but the longer out the more the scar tissue is matured and can/not necessarily be problematic.) Best of Luck with your decision. Kelli Manring, PT, MSPT (Physical Therapist specializing in women's health & Doula)
I had a LEEP procedure done in 1994 (for cervical dysplasia resulting from HPV 14 years earlier), and an easy healthy full term pregnancy/birth in 1999 at age 37. As another poster noted, this procedure was VERY uncomfortable (I'd say painful), which was not something the doc had prepared me for--and she didn't use sufficient local anesthetic so had to kind of stop and restart after another whatever-caine shot. I don't remember the recovery being that bad. HOWEVER, by all accounts the procedure itself is extremely effective--every exam since then, they've pronounced my cervix ''beautiful'', and I haven't had an abnormal pap smear since then. Happy LEEP survivor