What is LEEP?

LEEP stands for “loop electrosurgical excision procedure.” It’s named for the tool the doctor uses and how the tool works. It has a wire loop on the end. An electric current heats the wire loop so your doctor can remove (excise) some cells and tissue on your cervix or in your vagina.

Why Have LEEP?

Your doctor may have recommended a LEEP if your Pap smear or a tissue sample from your cervix showed some cells that didn’t look normal. You may also get one if your doctor found something unusual during an examination of your vagina. Doctors use LEEP to diagnose or treat abnormal things, including cells that look like they might become cancer.

Before you agree to get one, make sure your doctor explains:

  • Why they want you to have one
  • What the results could mean
  • What the risks, benefits, and complications could be
  • Who will do it
  • If there are other options

What to Expect

A LEEP usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes. In most cases, you can have it done at your doctor’s office. You’ll lie on the exam table and your doctor will use a speculum to open your vagina, as if you were getting a Pap smear.

Your doctor will look at your cervix and the inside of your vagina using something called a colposcope. It looks a little bit like a microscope, and it lets your doctor look at the cells close up. Your doctor will put it near your vagina, but not inside.

To get a good look at the cells, your doctor may clean and soak your cervix with a vinegary liquid. It can make abnormal cells turn white and make them easier to see. It may sting a little. Then you’ll get a small shot in the area to numb it.

Next, your doctor will put the LEEP tool through the speculum into your vagina and take out abnormal tissue. How much your doctor takes depends on whether they’re using the LEEP to figure out what’s wrong or to treat the problem.

During the LEEP, you may feel cramps or like there is pressure inside. Some women feel faint. Tell your doctor if you get lightheaded or you feel like you might pass out.

After Your LEEP

You’ll be able to go home right after it’s done. The tool closes up your blood vessels, so there shouldn’t be much bleeding. Your doctor will put medicine on the area to stop what little bleeding there is. The medication can cause a dark discharge or spotting for a few days.

Your doctor will probably give you instructions for when you go home. You’ll probably have to avoid some things for a few weeks:

  • Douching
  • Using tampons
  • Sex
  • Strenuous activity
  • Heavy lifting

Check with your doctor before you take any over-the-counter pain meds. Some of them can make bleeding more likely.

The Risks

There are a few associated with a LEEP, including:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Changes or scarring in your cervix
  • Trouble getting pregnant
  • Having a premature or small baby

Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • Bleeding heavier than your period
  • Bleeding with chunks in it (clots)
  • Discharge from your vagina that smells bad
  • Fever or chills
  • Severe pain in your belly

In Office Proceedures

Find out more about how we can help you by visiting our services page.

Patient resources

Angela Intili M.D.

Dr. Intili delivered both of my children and hopefully will deliver any future children! We have always felt heard, cared for and important in Dr. Intili’s care. She is thorough and personal in her care, remembering our concerns and needs whether in the office or on the labor & delivery floor at the hospital! She goes above & beyond for her patients and I am always happy to be in her care!


Frequently asked

What Insurance does your practice take?
Some insurance companies we accept: BlueCross Blue Shield PPO, BlueCross Blue Shield Presence EPO, BlueCross Blue Shield Presence St. Joe’s HMO, BlueCross Blue Shield Silver Cross HMO, Aetna PPO (Choice POS), Cigna PPO (Open Access), United Health Care PPO (Choice Plus) and Humana PPO (Open Access)
What office procedures do you perform in the office?
The following are performed at our office: Leep Procedure, Colposcopy Procedure, Cryosurgery  and  Endometrial  ablation  via  novasure ,  and  hysteroscopy
Is your practice able to do OB Ultrasound at the office?
We  perform  obstetrical  ultrasounds  and  gynecological
Which hospital(s) are you affiliated with?
Silver  Cross  Hospital  and  Adventist  St  Joseph  Hospital
Which hospitals do Dr Angela Intili deliver at?

Silver  Cross  Hospital  and  Adventist  St  Joseph  Hospital

Is Dr Angela Intil a Sole Practitioner?

Yes  ,  I have  been  solo practitioner  since  1994

Do you perform Gynecological Ultrasounds?


How often do I need a pap smear?
New guidelines  are 3-5  years,  however  a  pelvic  exam  may  be  needed  every year
At what age do I need a pap smear?
21  years  old
What age is menopause?
A median  age  of  menopause  is  54 years  old.  Perimenopause  may  begin 5-7 years earlier  ,  presents  with  irregular menses,  hot  flashes,  irritability    due  to  the  lack  of  progesterone ,  at  times  progesterone  supplement  may  improve  some of  these  symptoms
Are there conservative measures for hot flashes?

At  times  over  the  counter  supplement  may help,  however  some  contains  soy  which  should  be  avoided  in  women with  hormonal  related  cancers

How safe is hormonal replacement therapy?
There are  clear  benefits  to  hormonal  replacement  therapy ,  decreasing  the  risk of  cardiac  heart  disease,  osteoporosis,  and cognition. These  benefits are  present  within  the first  5  years of menopause.