The loop electrosurgical excision method, often known as LEEP, is used to treat persistent cervical dysplasia and low-grade and high-grade forms of the condition. Dysplasia of the cervix, also known as dysplasia cervical, is an abnormal illness of the cervix that, if ignored, may progress to either precancer or cancer.
An electrically charged wire loop is used during the LEEP procedure to remove the cervical tissue that has to be removed. The patient is often given a local anaesthetic before the procedure, which may occur in the outpatient section of a hospital or the office of a healthcare practitioner.
The following paragraphs will discuss the various pregnancy and delivery choices available to those with a LEEP history.
What Kind of Outcomes Should You Anticipate From a Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure?
When faced with the prospect of undergoing LEEP surgery, many people have feelings of apprehension over the effect that the procedure could have on their potential to have children. Patients looking into a LEEP will often hear first-hand accounts of infertility, miscarriage, and early deliveries as one of the first things they discover throughout their investigation. Even if there is a wide variety of research that may be accessed, it is crucial to remember that everyone has their own unique experiences and points of view.
According to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, there is a little increase in the risk of having a baby delivered prematurely or with a low birth weight after a LEEP operation; nevertheless, the great majority of people do not have any issues in this respect after the procedure.
If your cervix is deemed to be “incompetent” by your attending doctor, this means that the cervix will not be able to stay closed during the duration of your pregnancy. A pregnancy can end in miscarriage or for labour to start before the natural time if the cervical canal is not competent.
Cervical cerclage, on the other hand, is a technique that may be carried out to ensure that the cervix remains closed throughout the pregnancy. Cervical cerclage is a surgery that can be carried out. Because of this, the cervix is sewn shut, assuring it will stay closed throughout the pregnancy. Those with a LEEP will make up a very small percentage of the population needed to have a cerclage surgery while pregnant.
One piece of the study found that the risk of a woman having a miscarriage dramatically increased for pregnant women less than a year after their LEEP surgeries.
The good news is that the same study indicated that women who had finished all of their LEEP treatments at least a year earlier had no greater risk of miscarriage than any other woman.
This refers to the process in which the cervix shortens and narrows through cervical constriction. Because of this, the cervix may have a more difficult time opening up throughout the birth process.
A Birth That Occurs Way Too Soon
It was shown that people who got LEEP had a significantly higher probability of delivering their babies earlier than 37 weeks, the threshold at which delivery is deemed preterm.
On the other hand, research has shown this is also the case with those with cervical dysplasia. This supports the hypothesis that LEEP is not the only factor contributing to preterm delivery.
A New-born Child Whose Birth Weight Was Below Average
Although the outcomes of previous examinations have been mixed, one study did reveal a connection between LEEP and low birth weight.
This might be because of the increased risk of having a preterm delivery, leading to lower birth weight for the baby.
Obstacles That Must Be Conquered to Have a Healthy Baby
Following a LEEP procedure, certain concerns exist about the patient’s ability to have children. Even though the results of several research projects on this subject have produced conflicting conclusions, at least one study indicates that your fertility will not be affected.
Even though LEEP is associated with a slightly higher risk of preterm delivery (about 10%), many women still go on to have healthy, full-term pregnancies after undergoing this therapy.
The quantity of cervical tissue that is removed during a LEEP, in addition to whether or not the patient has previously had this therapy or any other sort of cervical surgery, are variables that influence how the operation will affect a future pregnancy. You need to discuss your worries with the person responsible for your medical treatment if you have any concerns.
Australia-Focused FAQ on LEEP Procedure: Side Effects, Fertility, Cancer Risk, Pregnancy, and Success Rate
If starting a family in the not-too-distant future is something you wish to do, there are a few things related to LEEP that you should discuss with your primary care doctor before proceeding.
What are the side effects of the LEEP procedure?
The side effects of the LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) procedure in Australia may include pain or cramping during or after the procedure, light bleeding or discharge, and a feeling of pressure in the pelvic area. Some women may also experience mild nausea, dizziness, or faintness during or immediately after the procedure.
Can the LEEP procedure affect future fertility?
In Australia, the LEEP procedure can affect future fertility. The extent of the impact depends on several factors, including the size and location of the tissue removal, as well as the woman’s age and overall health. In some cases, LEEP may cause scarring or damage to the cervical tissue, resulting in decreased fertility.
Can the LEEP procedure increase the risk of cervical cancer?
The risk of cervical cancer may increase after a LEEP procedure in Australia, although this is generally considered rare. Women who have had a LEEP are advised to undergo regular Pap tests to monitor for any changes or abnormal cells in the cervix and promptly report any unusual symptoms to their healthcare provider.
How long after LEEP should one wait before trying to get pregnant?
In Australia, it is generally recommended to wait at least 6 to 12 weeks after a LEEP procedure before trying to get pregnant. This allows enough time for the cervical tissue to heal properly and reduces the risk of complications during pregnancy. Women who have had a LEEP may also be advised to wait longer, especially if the tissue removal was extensive or if there were any complications during the procedure.
What is the success rate of LEEP in treating cervical dysplasia?
The success rate of LEEP in treating cervical dysplasia in Australia is generally high, with a cure rate of between 80% and 90%. However, the procedure’s success will depend on several factors, including the size and extent of the abnormal cervical tissue, the woman’s overall health, and the skill of the healthcare provider performing the procedure. Regular follow-up appointments and Pap tests are important to monitor for any changes or recurrence of cervical dysplasia.
Summary of the Many Advantages of Getting a Colposcopy Done
The LEEP procedure is a treatment used when abnormal cells on the cervix have been discovered. Even if it is effective at what it does, there is a chance that, in the future, it will affect a person’s fertility, making it more difficult for them to conceive children or deliver them. LEEP has been associated with various unfavourable outcomes during pregnancy, including infertility, early delivery, low birth weight of the child, and miscarriage. However, talk with your healthcare provider about your plans for the future, including whether or not you intend to get pregnant and give birth, as well as the potential dangers associated with LEEP.
It is essential to remember that every person is unique and that not every instance of LEEP is the same. Even though LEEP has been linked to several complications related to conception, pregnancy, and childbirth, it is essential to remember that LEEP can manifest in various ways. The amount of tissue that was removed during LEEP and any scarring that may have developed afterwards might play a part in later issues. Your healthcare provider will be able to talk to you about the risks you encounter and what you should be aware of if you are trying to become pregnant after a LEEP or are already pregnant after having one.
Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified enrolled nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.