CERVICAL cancer STILL kills women! IT IS SAD..It is a very FAST moving cancer, and it is best to treat it ASAP. Cryotherapy is a good alternative which you may want to discuss with your doctor.
I'm in Canada and the stat here is that 1 woman a day dies of cervical cancer; it's serious. Most of my family has died of cancer (of the colon) and it's a terrible thing. When I was found to have cervical dysplasia I was encouraged to find out that this particular type of pre-cancer can be detected and in a great majority of cases, fully resolved (cured). That's rare -- so many people with other cancers wish they had this chance. This was a big deciding factor in my having a leep. While the risk of my dysplasia turning to cancer was quite low over the short term, over several years the risk is unacceptably high (if you have dysplasia bad enough to warrant a leep, there is up to a 50% chance it will become in invasive cancer over the long term). There are a ton of horror stories about the procedure on-line: then again, many people report horrible pain during colposcopy and biopsy. All I can tell you is that I've had 2 colpos with biopsy and a leep and honestly it was not that bad. The biopsies were done without any anaesthetic: it hurt, but it was not that bad. I had cramping for a couple of days after.
The LEEP was done under IV sedation (not full general anaesthesia, but a similar process where you are basically "out" for the surgery) coupled with local anaesthetic. It was fine. There were 10 women there having the same procedure and I went last that day. I didn't see anyone coming out looking distressed. Most were relieved and a little drowsy from the anaesthetic. Don't believe the horror stories.
Icebreaker mentions cryotherapy as a great option, but keep in mind that with cryo they do not have any tissue to send to pathology so they cannot test to make sure they had clear margins (which is really important if you want to be sure they got all the bad cells) and they can't test the tissue to rule out the small chance that the cells have already begun to invade. Only with leep or a cold cone biopsy are they able to do pathology testing and make sure. Then again, the risk of cervical stenosis with cryo might be less. Ask about this.
The above notwithstanding, I have had issues since my surgery. I just had my 5 month follow up this week and found out I have cervical stenosis: my cervix has developed scar tissue and the canal is scarred partially shut. I should mention that during my LEEP they also did an ECC -- that's a procedure to also remove cells from the canal. -- and that raised the risk of stenosis. I had to have this as my dysplasia was detected in the canal as well. I've been having a lot more cramping during periods and my period takes longer to begin: I now have 2-4 days of spotting before any bleeding starts and some spotting between periods. This is all due to the scarring which makes it hard for fluid to get out of my uterus. It might affect fertility too: I don't want kids so I did not ask. However, two days ago during my colpo they dilated my canal (yes it hurt: it was bearable and took only a minute. You get over it). I'm hoping this will resolve the issue, but I know that in many cases the scar tissue returns.
So yes, I have had issues and sometimes wonder if I should have had the LEEP. Then I wonder how I'd feel knowing I had early cancer cells in my body that I did not get rid of, and the cost of not having them removed when I have the chance. My mom died of a cancer that they could not cut out though she really wanted surgical intervention. For me, the stress of leaving the cells in (I'm realistic, not paranoid) would be too much.
The good part is that I looked at my cervix on the screen during the pre and post op LEEP and I can tell you that it looks 100% healed, like it did before. It really heals nicely. And the big patches of dysplasia are now gone. My risk of cancer has dropped from 50% long term to about 2-3%. For me, that's a no-brainer to have the LEEP. Your choice may differ.
One thing; some people are advocating that you can cure dysplasia with vitamins. While nutrition can help with any cancer treatment, you have to think clearly here: if you could cure cancer with vitamins as some people claim, everyone would be doing it. There truly have been some amazing success stories, but they are rare. Make sure to get good medical advise before following medical advice from someone on a web site. Nutrition is great as a support to healing though; just be careful of taking really high doses, which can have other side effects and even increase cancer risk.
RE: getting pregnant. The LEEP should not affect this, but there is a chance of cervical incompetence which can lead to miscarriage, after a LEEP. The chance is very small, but only your doctor can tell you what the risk is because it depends on how much of your cervix is being treated. There may be a much higher risk of having a baby and leaving it motherless if you proceed to develop cancer. That said, cervical cancer moves slowly so your doctor may say it's fine to have the baby first. It's all about odds though: are you okay with a bit more risk of cancer to very slightly enhance your success in having a baby?
Again, no one here can really answer you because we can't know how deep your dysplasia is. You may only need a tiny bit of your cervix removed in which case it's just not a factor in pregnancy. Talk to your doctor and ask a lot of questions.