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J Reprod Med. 1996 Nov;41(11):815-8.

Impact of the loop electrosurgical excision procedure on future fertility.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, Wilmington, USA.



The loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a popular and effective method of conservatively treating premalignant lesions of the cervix in reproductive-age women. While the safety and effectiveness of LEEP has been documented, few data have been collected on the long-term effect of LEEP of the cervix on subsequent fertility. The purpose of this study was to determine that effect.


A retrospective, cohort study with chart review and telephone or mail-in survey. One hundred fifty-eight women seen in the colposcopy clinic at New Hanover Regional Medical Center for abnormal cervical cytologic smears from January 1991 through December 1992 were surveyed concerning their reproductive history since undergoing colposcopy. The study group consisted of 79 women who had been treated with LEEP after demonstrating abnormalities on colposcopically directed cervical biopsy. The control group consisted of 79 women who underwent colposcopy and cervical biopsy without subsequent LEEP of the cervix.


One hundred eleven women responded to the survey. In this study group, 11 of the 12 women who desired pregnancy actually became pregnant in the in interval between treatment and completion of the survey. All 17 patients in the control group who desired pregnancy became pregnant.


In our patient population there appeared to be no significant detrimental effect of LEEP on future fertility. These preliminary findings are reassuring, however, due to the small sample size, the study lacked sufficient power for us to draw definitive conclusions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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