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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hi Gabbie,

I've been through a very similar situation as you, with the exception of having been pregnant. I'm 25 years old and in August of 2009 had an abnormal pap. I subsequently had a colposcopy/biopsy and it showed HGSIL on my cervix and LGSIL in the endovcervix curretings. I was told I had to have a LEEP sooner rather than later as the HGSIL are high-risk for turning into cancer, and my LEEP was scheduled for October. I honestly don't know if a LEEP always has to be done for HGSIL, but my doctor seemed pretty steadfast that I needed one.

From what I've read, it seems like people have a wide variety of experiences with the LEEP, both in terms of how the doctors handle anesthesia/preparation for the procedure and in terms of the pain or discomfort they experienced. I'm sorry to tell you that I had an atrocious experience with the LEEP and cried the whole time from how painful and violative I found it to be. I specifically requested a prescription for an oral sedative ahead of time because I know I get anxious during medical procedures, and my doctor denied me. If you're anxious, you might want to see if your doctor would write you a prescription for one. I was not given any sedative whatsoever and was completely awake and alert for the procedure. I've read it is not uncommon for women to be given twilight or general anesthesia so that they are not awake during the procedure, so this might be an option in addition to the sedative. I would recommend one or the other. The shots to numb the cervix are very painful and the medication in them causes your heart to race, intensifying your anxiety. In my instance, I could still feel burning from the device despite the cervical numbing. The speculum they used was massive, and I don't know if it was due to my body size or fact that I haven't had children but it was extremely uncomfortable. The procedure lasted for what felt like forever, though I would imagine it was 20-30 minutes.

I was told after my LEEP that my lesion had clear margins (a good thing), and my first two follow-up paps came back normal. Unfortunately, I had a pap come back abnormal this week and it looks like I'll have to have another LEEP. I refuse to have another one without anesthesia. I would imagine that if you actually had cancer, this would have been revealed in your biopsy during your colposcopy. The purpose of the LEEP is to keep your HGSIL from turning into cancer.

I am not sure about how long you'll have to wait to try to get pregnant again, but I was not allowed to have sex or use tampons for a month after the procedure. I was also told to wait 6 months for my first follow-up pap because that's how long it takes the cervix to heal. During that time I had a large amount of discharge that I was assured was from my cervix healing, so I would imagine you would probably need to wait at least 6 months for your cervix to fully heal in order to get pregnant.
I'm not yet trying to get pregnant but do want to have children in the future. I do worry about the effect of a LEEP on fertility (especially if I'll have to have another) because it seems like there is not a lot of information out there on how LEEP effects fertility. I would discuss this with your doctor as well as whether there are any safer alternatives to treating your HGSIL.

Best of luck with everything, and let me know if you have any more questions about the procedure.
Went in for CIN1 that we'd been watching about a year and a half. I can't answer most of your questions because I'm past childbearing, but I did just have the LEEP a week ago. It was no big deal at all. No sedative at all. I asked the doctor to use a small speculum and I had some ibroprofen about a half hour before. The doctor was very good and experienced, having been doing these for about 15 years. The doctor numbed the cervix which did sting a little, then did the procedure, all within about 20 minutes and I walked home about a half mile after. They warned me about the heart racing stuff but that didn't happen to me. It was somewhat uncomfortable during the procedure but no worse than any other pelvic exam. I've never felt anything again at all since, no pain, no aching, no cramping, no bleeding, nothing. Some leaking of the medicine he put on it, but that's it. The pathology came back showing some CIN2 which they had never been able to see with any paps or colps before so I felt good that I'd done it and not waited anymore.

Added: I honestly can not imagine going through general anesthesia for this! This was a very minor discomfort for under 20 minutes. No way would I want the expense, risk, and recovery of anesthesia!
I haven't been pregnant but was also diagnosed with HPV in 09' - pap clear. In 10' my pap came back abnormal so I had a colp which showed CIN1. My doctor & I decided to wait. This second colpo showed CINII and a larger transformation zone - so she recommended a cold knife cone. I had a second opinion and the gyn onc agreed with what my original dr. had suggested. I just spoke to her today and she was talking to her friend who is an oncologist & who recommended going the LEEP route with CINII. So looks like I will be having a LEEP soon. My dr. wants to do it at the OR with general anesthesia (fine by me). One of my good friends had a LEEP and said it was fine. I'll come back and repost my experiences with the leep in the next two weeks.

best of luck.

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