The lowest part of uterus is called cervix. It traverses down into the vagina. During childbirth, the cervical mouth of the uterus opens and allows safe passage of fetus. Cervical dysplasia is development of abnormal cells on the surface lining of cervix. It increases the risk of cervical cancer in a woman.
However, the transformation of normal cells into abnormal cells does not always lead to invasive cancer, because the risk of cervical cancer in mild cervical dysplasia is very low. Dysplasia can be classified into mild, moderate and severe.
Cervical dysplasia is caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) infection, a sexually transmitted virus.Early detection of cervical dysplasia is possible with PAP smear test. Mild and moderate cervical dysplasia needs regular monitoring although there is least chance of them to turn cancerous condition. Severe cervical dysplasia needs surgical intervention.
What Are The Causes Of Cervical Dysplasia?
The exact cause of cervical dysplasia is unclear. But researchers link an association between HPV infection and cervical dysplasia. There are several strains of HPV, some of them cause milder infection such as genital warts and mouth sores. 70 to 80 percent of cervical dysplasia is known to occur due to HPV16 and 18.
- Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection. Sex with multiple partners increases risk of HPV infection and cervical dysplasia.
- Sexually active at an early age or giving birth below the age of 16 in known to increase the risk of cervical dysplasia.
- Smoking is known to increase chances of dysplasia because smoking makes the immune system weak and depletes the body of essential B complex vitamins.
- Family history of cervical cancer or dysplasia is another known trigger to produce this condition.
History of other sexually transmitted diseases such as genital herpes, HIV, can lead to cervical dysplasia.
- Low level of folic acid and other vitamins in the body can increase the risk.
- Use of intrauterine device for a prolonged period of time or too much use of tampons can be one of the triggers for development of abnormal cell on surface of cervix.
- Cervical dysplasia is also known to occur with excessive vaginal douching.
Symptoms Of Cervical Dysplasia
Most women suffering from cervical dysplasia are asymptomatic. It means there are no definite symptoms of cervical dysplasia noted in them. The condition is often detected during annual checkup for PAP smear test.
However, some women may have symptoms such as genital warts, abnormality of bleeding, spotting after intercourse or vaginal penetration with a sex toy, constant pain in back, especially in lower back. These symptoms are often present in other conditions; therefore they do not exactly pinpoint cervical dysplasia.
Cervical dysplasia can be classified into mild, moderate and severe. In mild dysplasia, the abnormal cell changes are very less; the affected area is less than 1/3rd of the total area. Moderate cervical dysplasia is between the mild and severe type. However, severe form cervical dysplasia has increased chances of developing cervical cancer as most of the surface lining consists of abnormal cells.
Treatment For Cervical Dysplasia
Treatment of cervical dysplasia depends on its severity. For example mild cervical dysplasia and moderate may not require to be treated. It often regresses over a period of time. However, PAP smear every six months is recommended to check for progression or regression of the condition.
- Severe cervical dysplasia needs to be treated as the abnormal cells can outgrow into invasive cancer of cervix. A procedure called LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) is used to remove the abnormal cells from the surface lining. Pain and bleeding can last for few days after the procedure.
- Often abnormal cells in severe cervical dysplasia are destroyed with the help of cryotherapy or laser. Cryotherapy freezes the cells while laser burns the abnormal cells.
- Cervical dysplasia with more severity need total hysterectomy. It means the uterus and cervix are surgically removed.
Mild cervical dysfunction heals faster with natural remedies.
- Vitamin supplements are useful as the antioxidant properties help to neutralize free radicals that are known to be the basic reason for the growth of abnormal cells. Patient should consume foods that are rich in Vitamin A, B complex, folic acid and vitamin C.
- Affected woman should avoid regular douching and use of tampon.