Should I get a LEEP

I'm 21 girl, who recently went in to get my first pap ever and found out I had HPV. I know I got it from my boyfriend because later into our relationship I found out he had a lot of sex partners before me. I have been with 2 guys only and was always careful and hadn't had sex for a long time before meeting my current boyfriend. I never slept around like most girls and was always careful so Im having a hard time accepting this because i haven't done anything wrong. I went to my OB-GYN doctor and got a colposcopy done and the results were mild-moderate dysplasia. we talked about waiting 6 months for my body to clear it since she said i'm young or getting a LEEP done. I've researched everything you can know about a LEEP. Like everyone I'm scared if they will get it all out and if i'll have any problems after having the LEEP done and also I Obviously want to have kids in the future. I've really been stressing myself out on what to do and I need advice!!! I don't want this to change who I am, nor take over my life and it has for the past month. I just don't want to worry for the rest of my life if they will eventually turn into cancer. I've recently called my doctor to make a apt to getting the LEEP done i'm just so scared. I have support from my boyfriend, it hard knowing he gave this to me. need help and any stories of life after LEEP.

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Hi mf13,

I just want to offer you some reassurance. I just had a LEEP done this past Monday and it went well. I'm older (35), don't have kids but do still hope to have a child someday, so it's not a decision I took lightly.
It sounds like you have a good relationship with your OB-GYN, and I think that's key. What made me most comfortable with both my decision and with the procedure was feeling comfortable to ask questions and be open with my OB-GYN about my concerns and fears. I asked her directly about pregnancy after LEEP and what to expect. It does raise the risk of having an early delivery, but she said that in her experience, every woman she'd worked with that had a LEEP and later had a child did fine (definitely reassuring!) She also framed the situation well, reminding me that the purpose for the LEEP was to keep me safe and healthy, and that's important for having kids.

Again, I know our situations are different seeing that I'm about 15 years older than you (egad, now I feel old!) and I'd waited a few years (with PAP smears every 6 months) before deciding on the LEEP, but I can offer reassurance that my experience thus far has been very positive and I feel good about my decision. The procedure itself went well - she talked me through it and I was surprised at how fast it went.

If you have any questions I can offer some insight on, I'm happy to share!

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Hi mf13

I am really sorry about the stress and worry you are currently experiencing, but rest assured you are not alone. I have been in your exact position about 4 years ago (I am 30 years old) after my pap smear came back abnormal. My GYNE suggested a follow up Pap in 3 months, which was also abnormal, and another 3 months later a normal PAP. Two years later on my annual check up again it was abnormal. To cut a long story short, we then waited another 3 months, another abnormal Pap and we then decided to do the LEEP. First of all, please do not blame yourself for contracting HPV, this is not your fault, and it is very common that most women will at least once in their life time test positive for HPV, the only difference is that some will 'cure' it naturally but other's might not, and further treatment is necessary.
I had my LEEP for CINII on the 19th of February 2013 under general anaesthetics, and I can really say that it was not as bad at all. It was a short procedure and I was home by the afternoon without any real problems. Unfortunately the results came back with CINIII and I was booked for a cold knife cone biopsy on the 12th of March. This procedure was a bit more intense, but still I was home in the afternoon and just experienced some mild cramps for a day or three. The results came back CLEAR!!!!!

From my own experience I would suggest that you have one more Pap in about 3 month to see whether your system has cleared the virus before deciding on further treatment, and should you go for the LEEP you are making a positive decision towards your health, which for now is the most important thing.

Even though hard, try to stay calm, this is NOT cancer and you have a great number of options. Discuss this with your GYNE, and as mentioned by Robin the LEEP should not lead to you not having kids. As she explained there are some risks but it is minimal and will be managed by your GYNE

Good luck, and keep the faith!!!

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Thanks for replying Robin77. I do have a great relationship with my OB-GYN. She's made me comfortable with everything. How was the LEEP for you? I know I want to get that done but I'm scared. Iv'e read all these horror stories for when after the LEEP. My OB-GYN suggested how to wait till November to get another colposcopy done that way i can find out the results faster but with each day i'm worrying it's getting worse as to why I'm considering getting the LEEP done soon. so my question to you is, do you think its best to get the LEEP done sooner than later? Again Thanks for the response !!!

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Thanks for responding Stellaa. When I went into see my OB-GYN and we decided to wait for 6 months to see if there was any change or not she asked me if i was going to lose any sleep from this and I said no. But ever since then It's been getting to me and I worry everyday if it's getting worse so I think thats why I'm leaning towards getting the LEEP soon. How was the LEEP for you? and also do you suggest having general anesthetics? With the cone biopsy what do they necessarily do? Thats great! I hope soon everything comes back clear for me. THanks so much, you've helped!!!

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I totally understand your fears, mf13!
My experience was a bit different, here is the timeline of how it went for me:
About 3 years ago, I had my first abnormal PAP and first colposcopy w/biopsys. We decided then to wait on further action and do more frequent PAPs.
Next few PAPs were normal.
Then my PAP showed mild changes, so I had my second colposcopy. At that time, the specialist (who worked from my Internist's office) said the cells looked so mild, she didn't recommend a biopsy and was comfortable with doing a PAP in another 6 months.
That next PAP was normal.
Then the PAP I had in February came back with severe changes. At that time my Internist recommended I see an OB-GYN (I'd never seen one before) for a coposcopy.
I met my new OB-GYN - who is AH-MAZING - in April and had a colposcopy then.
She suggested that, based on my history, regardless of the results of the biopsys she took (which all came back mild, FYI), she recommended a LEEP so that I'd be assured of my safety and not worrying over the constant back and forth.
We discussed my concerns about future pregnancy, etc., and she was VERY reassuring - didn't shy away from the statistics, but also gave me reassurance based on her own practice/experience. When I mentioned doing online research, she encouraged it, but cautioned that I be careful because I'd likely come up with many horror stories, which I suppose makes sense - people who have a negative experience are far more likely to post about it online than those who have a normal,positive experience and have gone on with their lives.

So you asked whether you should get the LEEP sooner than later...if you're planning to get the LEEP regardless, and it's simply a question of "when?", I'd encourage that it's fine to go ahead and do it. It was not that different from my experience having a colposcopy - it actually went a bit faster, which surprised me. And because they numbed my cervix, there was less discomfort for me than the colposcopy/biopsys. The OB-GYN was very good at keeping me at ease - she asked me whether I was someone who liked to receive information during the process (I am!) and she kept me aware of what was going on the whole time.

For me, I'm glad I went ahead and got it done - but again, in a way it's like I waited 3 years before I had it done. I do wonder, though, if had I worked with my OB-GYN from the beginning, if she'd have recommended a LEEP up front. I sort of suspect she may have, and I likely would have at that time had she.

I hope this helps some. Just let me know if you have any questions I can help you with!
In terms of how I'm feeling afterward (Day 3) - I only really had cramping on the first day, like bad menstral cramps, but IBUPROFEN helped with that for me. Mostly I'm experiencing a watery discharge as my cervix heals - basically it's like I have burns on my cervix, so if you think about how a burn heals, you can imagine the kind of discharge. I've been easy on myself exercise wise for the past few days, but plan to start into my routine again tomorrow morning, staying mindful of my body and how I feel.

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I just saw your other responses and wanted to chime in...
I am with Stellaa in offering reassurances...this is NOT cancer, and the process of turning into cancer is incredibly slow. I remember at my first colposcopy, the specialist then told me it would take years for it to become cancer. We have the advantage now of keeping an eye on things so we can monitor changes and still step in when needed to prevent cancer from ever developing. As Stellaa also said, I've been told by my different doctors that typically a woman's body naturally heals itself from the HPV - awesome stuff, no?
So all of that is to say - if you wait 6 months to have another exam, I wouldn't fear it getting worse. If anything, it will either improve so you know that your body is in the process of healing itself and no LEEP is needed...or you'll see it's the same/more changes, which confirm your decision to have a LEEP. Nothing to lose sleep over at this point - may just make you feel more secure in your decision.

Either way, do what you are most comfortable with and talk about it with your OB-GYN.
You are being good to yourself and taking good care of yourself!

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Thanks YOU SO much robin77! I do go to the gym everyday and i hate missing days so i see you've said you've been easy on yourself exercise wise for the past few days and plan on starting up tomorrow. SO after having the LEEP does it all depend if you're feeling comfortable working out? I think I am going to go ahead with the LEEP soon, I just don't want to keep worrying everyday about it. Also, when you got it done you weren't under any general anesthetics? I heard that when you numb your cervix your heart starts to pound for like 30 secs? Thank you for your help, it has made me a little better at ease!

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Your OB-GYN will be able to give you guidance about exercise after the LEEP - I think it depends on the individual procedure. When I did online research, I saw everything from no exercise for a week to 6 weeks to limited activity, etc. My own OB-GYN advised me to take it easy, and then I could start adding activity again gradually, but pay attention to how my body felt and if there were any changes. She mostly said to avoid intense activity (like running) for awhile and gave me a helpful visual - basically, think about when a wound is healing and has a scab over it. You don't want to do something that will cause that scab to loosen or come off and cause bleeding before it's healed.

I had local anaesthesia with my LEEP, very similar to when you get a shot before having dental work. My OB-GYN advised that sometimes women experience ringing in their ears or light-headedness after the injection and to let her know if I did, but I didn't have that. I think she said that happens about 20% of the time? Perhaps that's the heart rush you're hearing about? I'd imagine your OB-GYN will prepare just in case. She also said sometimes there is a rush/faint feeling/light-headedness after the procedure, but I didn't have that either. She theorized that it can happen because your body is all geared up for the procedure and it's done so quick, your body isn't caught up yet, if that makes sense. And if you think about it, that totally make sense for all of that - I know that after my second colposcopy, I thought I was going to pass out and had to lay down for a few minutes. I was embarrassed and didn't tell the Dr. then, but I said something to my OB-GYN and she said it's normal and happens sometimes, especially considering the nerves and anxiety and all that does to one's body. After talking to her, I felt safe to speak up if that happened, but it didn't. She said they had juice and other things available in case it happened. (Side note I just thought of - sometimes my blood sugar drops, so I carry glucose tabs in my purse and decided to eat a few before the procedure - maybe that helped?)

Another note about anaesthesia - I had local but my coworker and I compared notes and she had general. It probably depends on the individual situation and needs. Speaking only for myself, I did perfectly find with the local.

Glad I can help! :)

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I am with robin77. You need to not lose any sleep right now! Sleeping is important to keep your body healthy. I was just recently diagnosed with ASCUS with High Risk HPV. I freaked out at first and didn't understand how I got it since I've been married for 8 years. After the initial shock wore off I started planning on how I was going to combat it myself and try to avoid any invasive procedure.

I had a Colposcopy but no biopsy about 2 months ago. My GYNO told me she will only do what I was comfortable with. She told me to have a re pap in 6 months. I not only am going to do that but I decided to go see a Natural Holistic Doctor that deals with HPV on a daily basis. He is going to do a re pap at 3 months from my original Pap smear. My GYNO told me not to over due Pap smears either and it takes 3 months for the cervix to completely heal from each pap you have.

I have a really hard problem understanding how these doctors can keep cutting up a women's cervix if they do not have cancer yet. Why not try other methods if displaysia and the abnormal growths are going to keep coming back from HPV. Even if you have LEEP or Cone ect the abnormal cells can come back. Even if you have a complete hysterectomy the abnormal cells can come back unless you attack the underlying problem, the HPV. The only chance you have is strengthening your immune system, the bloodroot treatment on the cervix or MEL-1 vaccine in Mexico. becasue surgery only temporarily fixes you and you can only be cut on so many times and people are still having abnormal cells and cancer pop up in the vulva, anus, ect.

Look at your life style, do you get enough sleep, are you eating healthy enough, do you exercise, how much stress is consuming your life, ect. I thought I was eating healthy, but I started reading all these cleansing books and books on nutrition and I found out I wasn't eating healthy! My healthy was considered unhealthy for these books. I changed my diet and I am feeling so much better! The stress of everyday life doesn't seem as stressful and I have so much more energy. Anyway! My point is I can't tell you what to do for your body but I wouldn't suggest rushing into an invasive procedure. Talk with your doctor about alternatives and maybe see a holistic doc.

When I go in about a month if my pap is still bad we are going to talk about further treatment with vitamins and a bloodroot treatment on the cervix for 6 weeks, 2 times a week. As of right now I have completely changed my diet pretty much all natural, organic and raw. I'm making sure to get all my veggies and fruits everyday plus I started exercising more.

One of the best books I'm reading right now is "The Green Body Cleanse" by Dr. Edward Group III
I have really learned a lot from this book!

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Thanks so much for the advice robin77!

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Thanks so much for your insight Bar12345! I have been trying to eat better I already do exercise daily. may I ask what have you been eating? from that book has it told you what to eat and not?

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I would just wait for a second pap. In the mean time cut out all unhealthy eating and drinking. Take vitamins, exercise like you already do. Learn and do as much as you can about boosting your immune system so your body can heal itself. You are young thus have a much better chance your body will kick into gear and clear the virus. It seems hasty to me to rush into getting a LEEP. Unfortunately all the worrying lowers your immune system. Good luck to you

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Ive been doing that for the most part. I hope it does. just the scary thought of getting worse. Thank you lucyloo33!

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I'm trying to eat everything organic and almost everything raw. No cooking veggies ect. Im juicing most days two times a day. Cut out all dairy: yogurt, milk, cheese. cut out all: sodas, any meat that isn't grass feed and antibiotic free, all bread, all gluten, all artificial sweetners and salt including sea salt. Some exceptions are goat cheese, almond milk, coconut milk, Himalayan Salt, Mestemacher bread and of course cook all meats these are good to eat.

I have cheat day every once in a while and I'll have a piece of pizza or something. Never ever eat fast food or sodas!! I completely cut sodas and fast food out of my diet in October of last year and got really serious eating healthy when I had my diagnosis in February. I plan to keep this up and get a retest in June. I'm feeling better and some of my side effects such as spotting and abdominal cramping have stopped.

The only thing I haven't stopped is my birth control pills. I have read so many different articles. Some claiming its bad and some claiming it makes no difference. I've asked my OBGYN and she said as long as I'm healthy it makes no difference with HPV. The Natural holistic doctor told me I need to stop taking them. So with so much controversy on that I made the decision for myself to continue on them for now.

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ok thank you so much! I too asked my Ob-GYN if i should stop taking my birth control pills and she told it doesn't make any difference as well. what vitamins are you taking?

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I have not been taking any vitamins right now. At my appointment with the holistic doctor I will be discussing which vitamins to take. I really don't like vitamins and anything manufactured but I am willing to try what the doc suggests! I bought so many vitamins that people have suggested on this website, but i haven't taken any. Mainly because I'm scared of overdosing or taking the wrong thing for me. I know B vitamins, Vitamin A and Zinc are crucial! I probably get enough vitamin A from my food I eat. I eat lots of carrots and make lots of juice with them! I also drink a lot of watermelon juice. I try to eat almonds and avocados daily. I just started on a 2 oz glass of wheat grass a day! I eat a big salad with spinach and kale for lunch everyday mixed with all kinds of fruits and raw veggies. I have a bowl of oatmeal almost ever morning with flax seed topped with almonds, bananas, strawberries and blueberries. My goal is 5 servings of fruit a day and 5 servings of veggies a day plus a good clean protein and seeds and nuts and oatmeal for the bread group. I also have this "Qia" brand Hemp, Buckwheat and Chai Cereal that is really good! I worked out for 3 hours this morning too!! I have really been focused and in the zone and it will help you sleep better at night knowing you are doing everything to can to keep and healthy body and mind!!!

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Thank you so much for the advice! what you're doing is so much more what i've been doing. It's really made want to do the same! I also have been drinking alot of green tea, and taking a vitamin called, papillex. But thank you so much!! REALLY going to start eating better!

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Hi there,

I'm 35 years old and have been diagnosed with HPV. I have the cervical cancer strain, not the genital warts. It was the only irregular thing on my PAP. I'm trying to educate myself about it and keep freaking myself out about everything. I was even dating someone and I thought I did the right thing by telling him and he got scared and I haven't heard from him since. I told him to google HPV and he wouldn't. I have been told to go back in 6 months time go get another PAP.

Should I wait the six months or go sooner? Can I opt to have the LEEP done?

My question is, how will this affect my future relationships? I would love to get married, have children etc. And I feel so hopeless right now.

Thank you.

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Hi pecanpie123,

I'm so sorry to hear your relationship ended because of this. That is so unfortunate but honestly, try to remind yourself that you do not want to be with someone that is so unreasonable and unwilling to to educate themselves anyway. I can understand an initial reaction but to not be willing to learn or even ask their doctor about something is just ridiculous. You deserve someone that cares and cherishes you enough to want to listen to you. It's too bad there isn't a test for men because truth of it is that he probably has it too. Guys are lucky they can have it and not suffer from it. So many people have hpv and just don't know it....but you already know this I'm sure! You will find someone that is educated and/or willing to get educated on this and end up in a wonderful relationship so please stay hopeful.

It sounds like you're on the right track with treatment. Waiting 3-6 months for a repeat pap is normal. I personally would wait a bit before having a LEEP done. I've learned a lot from this community about things that help clear the HPV infection so focus on trying those things and hope for normal results at your next pap.

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@robin77 Have you gotten a pap since your LEEP? Was it normal?

My history is:
Feb 21, 2012: LSIL/HPV+
April 2012: LSIL/HPV+
June 7, 2012: CIN1 biopsy
October 1, 2012: Normal Pap
Feb 21, 2013: Normal pap and my requested HPV test was negative

I am about to go in for my last follow up pap on July 8, 2013 before being cleared for yearly exams. I am a bit worried after seeing that you had normal paps only to have your dysplasia return. Is this common?

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