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LEEP and Abortion

Previously we wrote about how having a LEEP procedure might affect future pregnancies, especially in regards to miscarriage. In this post, we are addressing how having had a LEEP procedure might impact a woman who is considering having an abortion.

Avenue Women’s Center is a women’s limited medical clinic specializing in services geared towards unplanned pregnancy. If you are concerned you might be pregnant or have recently had a positive test, contact us today for information regarding your pregnancy options. If terminating your pregnancy is a consideration or if you are still in the midst of your pregnancy decision, we provide helpful services and nonjudgmental support. Call, chat, email, or text us for a free consultation at one of our five DuPage County locations.

What is LEEP?

As a reminder, sometimes if a woman has an abnormal cervical cancer screening result, her doctor may recommend she have a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) as part of her treatment. As described on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) website: “LEEP is one way to remove abnormal cells from the cervix by using a thin wire loop that acts like a scalpel (surgical knife). An electric current is passed through the loop, which cuts away a thin layer of the cervix.”

LEEP and Abortion:

The question some women have after going through the LEEP procedure is whether or not it is possible to have an abortion procedure done following a LEEP procedure. Some women wonder about the healing of the cervix and how the abortion procedure might impact possible future pregnancies.

As noted in our prior blog, while research shows that most women do not experience problems with future pregnancies following a LEEP procedure, some sources note that the following risks may be associated with pregnancy following a LEEP procedure, although only a small percentage of women will experience these:

  • Cervical incompetence – meaning that the cervix is unable to stay closed during pregnancy, which could result in in miscarriage or preterm labor. However, there is a procedure, called cervical cerclage that ensures the cervix stays closed during pregnancy.
  • Cervical stenosis – a tightening or narrowing of the cervix, which may make it difficult for the cervix to dilate during labor.

In our research, we did not come up with information on a direct link between how having a LEEP procedure might affect having an abortion nor how having had both a LEEP procedure and prior abortion might affect future pregnancies. These are important questions to ask. We do strongly recommend that if you have gone through the LEEP procedure in your past, and are considering abortion, that you consult with your doctor first to discuss possible impacts or complications.

If you are pregnant and have had a LEEP procedure in the past and/or abortion in the past, it is recommended that you provide your doctor with as much information as you can regarding the results of the procedure, so that he/she will be able to take this information into account when advising you on your next steps.

Are you facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering your options? Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. Our women-led staff have been a resource for thousands in the Chicagoland area for over 37 years. Call, chat, email, or text today for your complimentary pregnancy consultation and take the next steps in making your pregnancy decision. We look forward to hearing from you.


References:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2017, July) Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP). Retrieved from: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Loop-Electrosurgical-Excision-Procedure-LEEP

    Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

    The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.

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