The cervix serves as a junction connecting your vagina with the uterus, together forming the birth canal. Cervical dysplasia is a neoplastic growth on the cervical wall, which shares a stark similarity with cancerous cells.
Cervical dysplasia causes abnormal cell growth and can lead to cancer if not treated through early detection, arresting further advancement of cervical dysplasia stages. The cervical region plays a vital role during pregnancy, and gynaecologists have not found potential anomalies related to childbirth or complications against conceiving naturally.
The cervix acts like a gateway for incoming sperms to travel up to the ampulla junction in the fallopian tube. When the baby develops, the cervix accommodates until water breaks, showing parturition in the immediate future.
Cervical dysplasia affects the surface epithelial lining of the cervix. It’s also termed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), meaning abnormal cell phenomena limited to the cervical surface alone.
While this condition first stays on the surface, it turns into full-fledged cervical cancer when it penetrates the underlying layer.
Cervical dysplasia is an STI condition. Women having it in their ancestry are susceptible to developing it. It’s a common STI like chlamydia and syphilis, while the causative agent is Human papillomavirus (HPV). The other factors include:
- Prevalent smoking
- Poor sexual hygiene
- Unprotected sexual union with strangers
The HPV post-entry into the human body can incubate over months or years and slowly lead to cervical infection. Cervical dysplasia is the prolonged stage of cervical epithelial infection post-incubation.
Among all STIs, HPV 16 and 18 strains are most prone to cause cervical cancer unless treated for cervical dysplasia during the early stages of infection.
Unlike other STIs, cervical dysplasia symptoms are rarely visible outward. Being a silent condition, it may show passive signs, like other reproductive issues:
- Post-coital bleeding
- Intense discomfort during copulation
- Unexplained fluid discharge from the vagina
- Persistent irritation of the vagina
Again, these symptoms were prevalent in patients who tested positive for cervical cancer. However, not all cervical cancer patients need to have previous conditions of cervical dysplasia.
Without pathological examination, it’s not accurate to determine cervical dysplasia other than performing a pap smear test of the infected cervical epithelium. The pap smear test results are abnormal if it shows the following squamous intraepithelial lesion :
- Low grade (LSIL)
- High grade (HSIL)
- Unidentified atypical squamous cells (ASC-US)
Based on the pap smear report, the gynaecologist would perform the following for an accurate diagnosis of cervical dysplasia:
- Performing colposcopy (observing cervical surface after applying vinegar solution against characteristic light wavelength)
- May perform a biopsy (during colposcopy for the pathological study of the affected cell surface)
Gynaecologists also use cervical dysplasia stages for analysing biopsy, colposcopy and pap smear diagnosis. It includes:
- CIN I (mild)
- CIN II (moderate)
- CIN III (severe)
Cervical dysplasia treatment depends on the CIN stages. CIN I often get naturally healed, while CIN II and III require surgical treatment. Treatment includes:
- Cryosurgery (it freezes the cervical cells, destroying any potential pathogen presence)
- Cone biopsy cold knife technique (removal of the infected cervical surface in the shape of a cone)
- Laser therapy technique
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), which removes the affected cervical epithelium
Besides, the patient may need to perform periodic pap smear tests to monitor the dynamic nature of the cervical dysplasia-affected cells. Since the primary method of detecting CIN is a pap smear test, potential folks should undergo regular tests to ensure whether they have contracted the HPV or the preexisting infection advanced into cervical cancer.
Cervical dysplasia affects only women (18 to 50 years of age). However, they can transmit HPV to men since the infection stays silent. Here’s the list of people who are prone to contract this viral infection:
- Weak immunity (frequently ill)
- Consuming immunosuppressants
- Chain smoking
- Exposed to sexual union with strangers (unprotected)
- Highly casual sexual life
- Born with cervical cancer (inheritance)
- Frequent among transgenders
While HPV is the primary causative agent responsible for cervical dysplasia, behavioural factors and lifestyle issues often make one gravely prone to contracting the infection.
Preventive methods include:
- Personal maturity to abstain from casual and unprotected sexual encounters
- Taking care of your health, besides enhancing immunity
- No smoking and intravenous drug abuse
- Screening for cervical cancer, if present in the pedigree analysis
- Get vaccinated against HPV
Besides the mentioned measures, every woman must ensure thorough knowledge about their sexual partner to eliminate any potential scope of developing cervical dysplasia.
Reproductive well-being has a paramount role in maintaining the overall wellness of women. Attempt a monthly appointment with your gynaecologist and stay updated about your reproductive health, even when you have no maternity plans soon.
It’s crucial for the early detection of cervical dysplasia while you can speak your mind regarding intimate hygiene. Also, if asked, don’t hide any untoward sexual encounters you had in the near past from your doctor. It helps them diagnose any potential STI you might have contracted otherwise.
Cervical dysplasia is a treatable condition like chlamydia, syphilis being STIs. Every sexually active woman can prevent the infection by eliminating unprotected sexual encounters with strangers. Besides, seek immediate gynaecological help after one to ensure you are free of any potential STIs.
The advancement in cervical dysplasia stages happens over a long period, undetected, without little notice, unless the patient visits a gynaecologist regularly. Remember, getting an early cervical dysplasia diagnosis ensures prompt treatment while arresting the infection from spreading past the mild stage.
Have you been experiencing unexplained vaginal bleeding lately? Do you feel pained during sexual union? If the answer to any of these is yes, then visit the CK Birla Hospital today to get a prompt diagnosis from the best gynaecologists.
Women can show cervical dysplasia symptoms long after menopause, given the virus (HPV) incubates for long inside before showing physical discomforts like vaginal bleeding.
Cervical dysplasia stays limited to the surface of the cervix in the early stages. However, it penetrates the inner epithelium and transforms into full-fledged cervical cancer if prompt treatment is unavailable in the early stages of the cervical infection.
Cervical dysplasia is hard to detect because STIs have silent symptoms. It’s hard to spot underlying issues unless physical discomforts start showing. Again, cervix infections spread deeper, and the underlying symptoms surface.
Women with cervical cancer may pass on the trait, which later can lead to the formation of cervical dysplasia. Those with HPV in their body can carry the infection silently for quite long, passing it amongst sexual partners unknown.