What is Cervical Dysplasia?
Cervical Dysplasia, also known as Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) is a precancerous condition, in which there is abnormal cell growth on the surface of the cervix. The most common cause is from the human papillomavirus (HPV), which 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 time. Prognosis is best if caught early.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Dysplasia?
You may not have any signs or symptoms that anything is wrong, which is why regular Pap tests are important as they can detect cervical dysplasia.
Vaginal bleeding outside of menstruation and/or after intercourse may be a sign of a problem and would be an important reason to see your doctor as soon as possible for a PAP if you haven’t had one recently.
The Naturopathic Approach to Cervical Dysplasia
An abnormal PAP can create a great deal of anxiety and often doctors want to just wait and see if the problem resolves itself by the next PAP. Taking control of the situation can ease anxiety and increase your chances that your next PAP will be normal.
As naturopathic doctors we would investigate:
Immune function – HPV is commonly cleared by the body, though if your immune system is not functioning properly, it could result in your body not being able to clear the virus effectively.
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 your immune system may be busy fighting what you are eating instead of fighting HPV.
Stress – Stress can impact 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 and help you through proven natural 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
- Vitamins, minerals, enzymes
- Vaginal suppositories to kill the HPV virus, heal cervical tissue and boost immune function.
The Side Effects of LEEP Procedures
There are two main issues with LEEP procedures, yes, they are an efficient way of removing the existing unhealthy cells, however:
- 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.
- 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!
Natural Treatment for Cervical Dysplasia Research:
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.