Sex after LEEP.
August 15, 2011 7:34 PM   Subscribe

Sex after LEEP.

I recently had a LEEP performed to treat moderate cervical dysplasia. The whole experience has been difficult for me emotionally.

I've read the past posts about HPV and the LEEP procedure, and they were informative. YANAD, YANMD etc., but it'll be two weeks before I see my doctor, and I'm hoping you can provide some anecdotes/reassurance/advice in the meantime.

My understanding is that the LEEP will have gotten rid of most of the infection, and my immune system will hopefully be able to clear the rest. Obviously, the guy I'm dating is also infected. My question concerns viral loading: Once I've had a couple "good" pap smears, how concerned do I need to be about viral loading? If his infection is still active, but my immune system has fought mine down to undetectable levels, do I need to be concerned that mine will ramp back up again due to viral loading? I know HPV tests for men are uncommon, but does it make sense for him to get tested so we know when his infection has cleared? We plan to use condoms, of course, but say we got married - at what point can we assume that the risk of him increasing the viral load of my infection has diminished adequately?

In short: if you've had an HPV infection that has gone dormant, what has that meant for your sex life, particularly with the same partner?

I know these are questions for my doctor, and I certainly have an imperfect understanding of the viral loading issue (so, it seems, does the internet). I think I'm partially looking for reassurance that this is going to be okay, and that eventually i can have a healthy, happy sex life. Your experiences would be welcome.

Throwaway email:

posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I asked my doctor about getting re-infected by my boyfriend after my LEEP, and she told me not to worry. My understanding of her explanation was that strains of LEEP are like strains of rhinovirus - once you've had one and cleared it, you can't get that one again. So assuming that you and your SO are in an exclusive relationship, then you shouldn't have to worry about getting exposed to whatever strain of HPV he may or may not have, as you've already been exposed to it before and had the LEEP.

But ask your doctor for clarification, because who knows, I may have misunderstood my doc.
posted by amro at 8:43 PM on August 15, 2011

strains of LEEP

strains of HPV, I meant
posted by amro at 8:44 PM on August 15, 2011

I had Leep done in 2005, and am still with the same partner. All my Pap tests have been fine since then.
posted by Rapunzel1111 at 8:45 PM on August 15, 2011

I have not had a LEEP procedure, but have had HPV. My doctor said what amro's did about re-infection. I have not tested positive for HPV in 2 years, though continue to have one clear pap and one abnormal pap a year. My doctor said that this was also normal. My sex life has been completely unaffected by all of this. We don't use condoms and carry on as normal.
posted by itsacover at 7:23 AM on August 16, 2011

Same here, I had a LEEP and only got re-infected when I switched partners two years later. My doctor says it's a new strain, because that's the only way I could pick it up again.
posted by sunnichka at 7:33 PM on August 16, 2011

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