Cervical Dysplasia

cervical dysplasia abnormal PAP smear

What is Cervical Dysplasia?

Cervical Dysplasia, also known as Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN), is a precancerous condition.  Dysplasia means that there is abnormal cell growth on the surface of the cervix. The most common cause of dysplasia is from the human papillomavirus (HPV).  HPV is considered to be a sexually transmitted infection. It is most common in women under 30 years of age, but it can occur at any age. The possibility of fixing dysplasia is highest if it is caught early.

What are the Types of HPV?

For any virus, there can be many different strains.  In the case of HPV, there are over 100 different strains.  Of these strains, at least 13 of them can be cancer-causing.  Most cervical cancer (70%) is caused by 2 of these strains, HPV 16 and HPV 18.

How Do You Test for HPV?

Your doctor can collect a sample of cells from your cervix and send it to a lab for testing for HPV.  There is also a self-test that you can do for HPV called Eve Kit.  Our naturopathic doctors can order this test for you.

Can You Have Cervical Dysplasia without HPV?

Yes.  Some cases of cervical dysplasia are not caused by HPV.

Does Cervical Dysplasia Always Lead to Cancer?

No. Mild dysplasia may resolve on its own, without any treatment.  Moderate to severe dysplasia may require treatment.  We recommend following your medical doctor’s advice and incorporating natural treatment to address the cause and prevent recurrence.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Dysplasia?

You may not have any signs or symptoms that anything is wrong.  You can’t feel cervical dysplasia.  This is why regular Pap tests are important as they can detect cervical dysplasia early.

Vaginal bleeding outside of menstruation and/or after intercourse may be a sign of a serious problem.  Cervical dysplasia symptoms like bleeding would be an important reason to see your doctor as soon as possible for a PAP test.

Natural Treatment for Cervical Dysplasia

An abnormal PAP can create a great deal of anxiety.  Often doctors want to just wait and see if the problem resolves itself by the next PAP.  Taking control of the situation can ease your anxiety and increase your chances that your next PAP will be normal.

How Can a Naturopathic Doctor Help?

Naturopathic doctors can help through the following means:

Immune boosting

HPV is a virus.  It is commonly cleared by your body.  If your immune system is not functioning properly, it could result in not being able to clear the virus effectively.  Naturopathic doctors can help your immune system work better.

Diet

Diet plays a role in how well your immune system works. Your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs.  What you eat may be suppressing your immune system.  Or if you have food sensitivities your immune system may be busy fighting what you are eating instead of fighting HPV.

Stress

Stress can impact your immune function (suppress it), hindering your body’s ability to clear pathogens.

Hormone balance

Your ND will work with you to help you manage your symptoms of hormone imbalance. We can help you through proven natural hormone balancing remedies such as indole-3-carbinol, green tea catechins, mushroom extracts, vitamin A, folic acid and anti-HPV herbs.

Natural Treatments that can help Cervical Dysplasia

  • Diet modifications
  • Acupuncture
  • Vitamins, minerals, enzymes
  • Herbal remedies
  • Vaginal suppositories to kill the HPV virus, heal cervical tissue and boost immune function.

The Side Effects of LEEP Procedures

LEEP procedures are an efficient way of removing the existing unhealthy cells.  However, there are two main issues with this procedure, they:

  1. They do thin the cervix which may lead to a weaker cervix and difficulty maintaining a pregnancy later on. I have seen this happen in practice.  The patient was not informed beforehand that this might happen.
  2. They do not address the underlying reason why you had an abnormal PAP smear in the first place. They don’t strengthen your immune system, fight off the HPV virus or balance your hormones.  If you don’t address these, odds are good that the problem will just continue or recur.

Can you combine conventional treatments like LEEP procedures with natural treatment for the best outcome? Absolutely!

Research on Natural Treatment for Cervical Dysplasia:

Treatment with indole-3-carbinol for 12 weeks seems to cause complete regression of CIN in 45% to 50% of patients with stage II-III CIN.

–Source: Gynecol Oncol 2000;78:123-9.

Green tea as an oral or topical preparation seems to reduce cervical dysplasia caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) infection

–Source: Eur J Cancer Prev 2003;12:383-90.

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