What is cervical dysplasia?
What causes cervical dysplasia?
Leading factors in the risk of cervical dysplasia include:
- Becoming sexually active before the age of 18
- Having a baby before the age of 16
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Illness or medication that suppresses your immune system
What are the symptoms of cervical dysplasia?
Usually there are no symptoms.
How is cervical dysplasia diagnosed?
Cervical dysplasia is usually detected through a Pap smear that is done during your pelvic exam with your OB/GYN. Cervical dysplasia detected by a Pap smear is called squamous intraepithelial lesion and is classified as atypical squamous cells, low grade, high grade, cancer or atypical glandular cells.
Once the Pap smear screens positive for certain abnormalities, a diagnostic test is performed. This test is called a colposcopy. The cervix is visualized under magnification, and cervical biopsies are usually taken. This exam can usually be done in the office.
Treatment for cervical dysplasia includes:
- Close follow-up, usually every six months
- LEEP: electricity to remove abnormal tissue
- Cone biopsy: surgery to remove abnormal tissue
When should you see an OB/GYN?
If you are 21 years old or older and have never had a pelvic examination or Pap smear, call for an appointment.
Can cervical dysplasia be prevented?
- Ask your OB/GYN about the HPV vaccine. It can reduce the chance for cervical cancer if received before sexual activity starts.
- Smoking increases the chance for developing more severe dysplasia and cancer
- Abstain from sexual activity until you are 18 years old or older
- Use a condom
- Have only one sexual partner at a time