Abnormal pap treatments and your fertility

Q: I am 24 years old. A few years ago, I had a series of abnormal pap smears that eventually led to a LEEP conization. I would like to know if having this done decreased my chances of having children. I am very worried that when the time comes I will not be able to conceive.

A: When one has a series of abnormal paps, and biopsies show potentially precancerous cells, there are several options available to remove these cells. One is a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) conization. Using a fine and very hot metal wire, the gynecologist can cut through the central part of the cervix and remove the affected tissue. The loop actually controls bleeding at the same time it removes the affected tissue.There is usually taken out a bit of tissue smaller than a thimble, so that most of your cervix is left untouched.

Many studies have already been done to answer your question. Women do not seem to have any increased risk of infertility. Also, once pregnant, they do not have any increased risk of early delivery, or any increased risks of Caesarian sections. So you should do quite well with pregnancy.

For those of you who have had the older procedure of regular cervical conization, which is performed occasionally, you, too should rest assured that you should do just as well with a pregnancy. So do not worry about taking good care of your cervix – preventative care and regular pap smears, even if an abnormality is detected, will result in good outcomes.

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