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Cervical Dysplasia

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Introduction

Abnormal cell growth can lead to numerous conditions, some of which are cancerous and precancerous. These conditions can be scary to be diagnosed with but can be treated if caught early.

One type of precancerous abnormal cell growth leads to a condition known as cervical dysplasia. Here is some information about the disease, its causes, symptoms, and more.

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What is cervical dysplasia?

An abnormal cell growth along the endocervical canal and the cervix’s surface lining is known as cervical dysplasia. This condition is also known as CIN or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.

The location most affected is the region between the uterus and vagina. This condition can affect women of any age but is most common for women under the age of 30 who are sexually active and are associated with HPV infections.

If caught early and treated with follow-ups, this condition is easy to treat and not dangerous. If left untreated, it can deteriorate into cervical cancer.

What are the causes of cervical dysplasia?

There are several causes of cervical dysplasia. Here are the most common:

  • ● Sexual intercourse leading to an HPV infection, specifically HPV-16 or HPV-18
  • ● HIV and Aids can also cause the development of cervical dysplasia
  • ● Immunosuppressant drugs used after organ transplants can cause this condition too
  • ● Genetics can play a part in this condition
  • ● Any form of skin to skin contact with another infected person can lead to HPV and cervical dysplasia, including shaking hands.

What are the symptoms of cervical dysplasia?

Unfortunately, cervical dysplasia has no visible symptoms that can be felt or seen with the naked eye.

How is cervical dysplasia diagnosed?

Cervical dysplasia can only be caught and diagnosed through routine pap-smear tests. It is recommended that you get a pap-smear test at least twice a year even if you have no familial history of this condition.

If you have a family history of cervical cancer or cervical dysplasia, it is recommended that you get pap-smear tests every three months.

Another test a doctor may perform is an endocervical curettage. This test is done to check for any abnormal cells in the cervix.

If abnormal cells are detected in the cervix, a colposcopy will be done to magnify the cells. Samples will be taken for biopsies for a more accurate diagnosis.

Other tests include an HPV-DNA test to identify the type of HPV infection in place, a LEEP (Loop electrosurgical excision procedure)  is performed to do a cone biopsy of the abnormal cell.

What are the treatment options for cervical dysplasia?

The treatment for cervical dysplasia depends on the severity of the condition:

  • ● The mildest form of the condition does not require any treatment or medication and can subside by itself. However, it must carefully be monitored.
  • ● If a case of mild cervical dysplasia does not subside within 2 years, doctors may opt for a surgical approach.
  • ● If the condition persists for more than 2 years or has progressed to moderate or severe cervical dysplasia, doctors will opt for a LEEP and cone biopsy as treatment options rather than diagnostic options.
  • ● If the two milder options (LEEP and cone biopsy) are not viable, doctors will opt for a cryosurgery procedurewhich involves freezing the cells of the growth and removing them.
  • ● Another surgical option is a procedure known as electrocauterization.
  • ● The final option for doctors would be to perform laser surgery.

What are the Risks of Surgery in Cervical dysplasia?

It is important to discuss treatment options with your doctor as each surgical option can cause complications. The most common and serious risk is heavy bleeding. Doctors may be hesitant to perform these procedures on pregnant women  or those women who are immunocompromised or on immunosuppressant drugs.

It is because the rate of success for the surgery in these situations drops significantly or can lead to fatal outcomes during the procedure. Minor risks of the surgery include:

  • ● Pain or infections
  • ● Discomfort in the regions the surgery was performed
  • ● Scarring

Conclusion

Cervical dysplasia is a condition that can be very dangerous if left alone. It can lead to outcomes that can be life-threatening, such as cervical cancer. Itis essential to take preventive measures for this condition by having pap-smear tests as a part of your routine check-ups at least twice a year.

It is also essential to follow your doctor’s treatment plan. In case a surgery has been performed, you must follow the post-surgical advice given by your medical team. Cervical dysplasia is not dangerous if caught early, and those who are affected by it can recover completely.

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FAQ's

Is HPV and Cervical Dysplasia the Same Disease?

No, while HPV cells are the most common cause of Cervical Dysplasia, they are both different conditions.

Is Lifelong Abstinence the Only Option to Stop the Spread of HPV?

No. While doctors recommend that sexual intercourse be avoided until the HPV infection is treated, you can have safe sexual intercourse be practised with condoms.

Does Cervical Dysplasia Affect Older Women More than Younger Ones?

Cervical Dysplasia is a disease that can afflict women of any age. It is, however, more common in women between the ages of 18-40.

Is Cervical Dysplasia the Same as Cervical Cancer?

No, Cervical Dysplasia is a precancerous growth of abnormal cells in the cervix, it can lead to Cervical Cancer, but it is not cancer on its own.

Does a Hysterectomy Cause Cervical Dysplasia?

There is no valid evidence linking a hysterectomy to Cervical Dysplasia. There is little to no risk of hysterectomies, causing any precancerous growths.

Are Surgeries for HPV and Cervical Dysplasia Invasive?

Yes, doctors usually treat surgeries for Cervical Dysplasia as a last resort as all surgical options for this condition can lead to heavy bleeding and are considered invasive.

If I had Surgery for Cervical Dysplasia, is My Daughter Going to Need it Too?

While Cervical Dysplasia can have a genetic element, it is unlikely that this guarantees the disease will manifest in the family gene-pool. Furthermore, the likelihood for surgery due to genetics is low; if caught early, it can be treated in all family members with no surgery.

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