Sexual Intercourse after a LEEP Procedure

Christina S. Chu, MD
Last Modified: December 10, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I just had a LEEP procedure. My doctor said I should not have sexual intercourse for the next 3 weeks. Why is that?

Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

A LEEP, or loop electrocautery excision procedure, involves removing a piece of tissue from your cervix. Since your cervix is located at the top of your vagina, the penis makes contact with the cervix during sexual intercourse. It is very important that you do not have intercourse, use tampons, or douche after your procedure to allow the cervix to heal properly. If you have sex or irritate the cervix in other ways before it is healed, you may suffer infection or heavy vaginal bleeding.