LEEP and Getting Pregnant?

Can a LEEP procedure affect my chances of getting pregnant?
profile picture of Jackie Gutmann, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia
ByJackie Gutmann, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia
Fertility Specialist
Updated
Mar 2017
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If you’re told you need a LEEP (short for “loop electrosurgical excision procedure”) and want to start a family in the near (or distant) future, don’t panic. LEEP isn’t likely to harm your fertility.

LEEP procedures are generally done to treat precancerous cervical tissue. Your doctor will use an electrically charged wire loop to remove the affected cells from your cervix. It’s not a major medical procedure; you’ll usually be in and out of the office or hospital on the same day.

If your doctor is too aggressive with his excision, there’s a chance the procedure can lead to some scarring, which can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Other, more infrequent, complications include  cervical stenosis (a narrowing of the cervix) and  cervical incompetence (meaning the cervix won’t be able to stay closed during a pregnancy). The good news is that these complications are rare, and if they do occur you can still get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby through full term with various treatment options.

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