Cervical Dysplasia

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-04-02 (EDT)

Cervical dysplasia refers to abnormal cellular changes to cells that make up the inner lining of the cervix which is the opening to the uterus. The degree of change ranges from mild to severe and can eventually progress to cancer if left untreated. Cervical dysplasia can regress, persist, or progress. This condition commonly affects women between the ages of 25 and 35, though it can develop at any point in the life cycle.[1]

Cervical Dysplasia

Cervical Dysplasia
Causes Infections, Smoking, Oral Birth Control Pill, Sexually Transmitted Disease
See Also Women's Health
Books Books on Women's Health
Articles Articles on Women's Health

Naturopathic Assessment

Check out this book HPV and Cervical Dysplasia: A Naturopathic Approach

Causal Factors

Article Cervical Dysplasia and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) , IHP ; 2011 November

In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. Cervical dysplasia is caused by infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). A naturopathic assessment will look at a person's underlying susceptibility and other factors that may increase their risk of the infection if exposed.


  • Infection with certain strains of sexually transmitted Human papillomavirus (HPV) (16, 18) are considered the single most important factor in cervical dysplasia.[2]


  • Relationship
  • HPV infection is sexually transmitted, therefore, increasing risk of exposure increases risk of contracting this infection and developing dysplasia. Several ways of increasing exposure include:[2]
  • Young age at first intercourse
  • Multiple sex partners
  • A male partner with multiple previous or current sex partners


  • Lack of adequate sleep impairs immune function and increases one's susceptibility to infection.
  • Lack of exercise impairs immune function and increases one's susceptibility to infection.


  • Smoking cigarettes [3] and even inhaling passive smoke [4] are both associated with increased risk of cervical dysplasia.
  • Carcinogens from cigarettes have been found in cervical mucus of women who smoke.[5]
  • Cigarette smoke is also known to deplete the body of nutrients such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene which are important to fight cancerous changes.

Medical Interventions

  • Prescription Medications:
  • There is a strong association between cervical dysplasia and use of oral contraceptives however it is unclear if this is caused by the oral contraceptives themselves.[6]
  • Birth control depletes folic acid which may contribute to the risk of cervical dysplasia.

Diagnostic Testing

Article New Guidelines Released for Screening of Cervical Cancer and Cervical Dysplasia, NDNR; 2013 February
  • Pap smear testing is a screening tool that can detect presence of abnormal cells (cervical dysplasia)
  • Identification of cervical dysplasia may be followed by colposcopy or biopsy to determine degree of change.
  • The degree of cervical dysplasia will be described as:
  • Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) meaning the dysplasia is mild, OR
  • High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) which includes moderate and severe dysplasias

Related Symptoms and Conditions

Other conditions associated with cervical dysplasia include:

  • Sexually transmitted infections such as herpes simplex virus type 2.[7]
  • Decreased immune function.


Article Cervical Dysplasia and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), IHP; November 2011

Cervical dysplasia is always associated with HPV infection (However not everyone with an HPV infection will develop cervical dysplasia).[1]

  • Cervical dysplasia typically occur in young (ages 15-25) women.
  • Cervical dysplasia is typically asymptomatic.
  • On average 50% of HPV infections are cleared within 8 months and 90% of infections are cleared within 2 years.
  • Cervical dysplasia can regress, recur, persist, or develop into cancer.

Naturopathic Treatment

The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Cervical dysplasia can regress, persist, or develop into cancer.

It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.


Lifestyle recommendations include:

  • Regular screening tests
  • Initiate pap smear testing within 3 years of first vaginal sexual activity or age 21 (whichever comes first) and then annually until 3 consecutive normal results at which point every 3 years is generally fine. Screening can be discontinued at 70 years of age if normal history of PAP tests over the past 10 years.[8]
  • Ensure adequate exercise to support proper immune function.
  • Ensure adequate sleep to support proper immune function.

Naturopathic Therapies

The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.

Naturopathic Therapies for cervical dysplasia include:

  • Homeopathy can be effective in the treatment of cervical dysplasia.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kumar R, Abbas A, DeLancey A, Malone E (2010) Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. Eighth Edition Saunders Elsevier.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Boulet GA, Horvath CA, Berghmans S, Bogers J ( 2008 Apr) Human papillomavirus in cervical cancer screening: important role as biomarker Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; Vol17(4):810-7. PMID: 18398022.
  3. Kanetsky PA, Gammon MD, Mandelblatt J, Zhang ZF, Ramsey E, Wright TC Jr, Thomas L, Matseoane S, Lazaro N, Felton HT, Sachdev RK, Richart RM, Curtin JP (1998) Cigarette smoking and cervical dysplasia among non-Hispanic black women. Cancer Detect Prev; Vol22(2):109-19. PMID: 9544431.
  4. Trimble CL, Genkinger JM, Burke AE, Hoffman SC, Helzlsouer KJ, Diener-West M, Comstock GW, Alberg AJ (2005 Jan) Active and passive cigarette smoking and the risk of cervical neoplasia Obstet Gynecol;Vol105(1):174-81. PMID: 15625160.
  5. Prokopczyk B, Cox JE, Hoffmann D, Waggoner SE (1997 Jun) Identification of tobacco-specific carcinogen in the cervical mucus of smokers and nonsmokers. J Natl Cancer Inst;Vol89(12):868-73. PMID: 9196253.
  6. Piyathilake CJ, Henao OL, Macaluso M, Cornwell PE, Meleth S, Heimburger DC, Partridge EE (2004 Dec) Folate is associated with the natural history of high-risk human papillomaviruses. Cancer Res;Vol64(23):8788-93. PMID: 15574793.
  7. Becker TM, Wheeler CM, McGough NS, Parmenter CA, Jordan SW, Stidley CA, McPherson RS, Dorin MH (1994) Sexually transmitted diseases and other risk factors for cervical dysplasia among southwestern Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women. JAMA;Vol271(15):1181-8. PMID: 8151876.
  8. U.S. Preventive Series Task Force. [internet]. Screening for Cervical Cancer Recommendations and Rationale. [cited 2012 Feb]. Available from: [1]
  9. Gaby AR (2011) Nutritional Medicine. Fritz Perlberg Publishing.
  10. Pizzorno Joseph, Murray Micheal, Joiner-Bey Herb, 2007, The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Medicine Churchill Livingstone
  11. Bell MC, Crowley-Nowick P, Bradlow HL, Sepkovic DW, Schmidt-Grimminger D, Howell P, Mayeaux EJ, Tucker A, Turbat-Herrera EA, Mathis JM (Aug 2000) Placebo-controlled trial of indole-3-carbinol in the treatment of CIN Gynecol Oncol;Vol78(2):123-9. PMID: 10926790
  12. Ahn WS, Yoo J, Huh SW, Kim CK, Lee JM, Namkoong SE, Bae SM, Lee IP (2003 Oct) Protective effects of green tea extracts (polyphenon E and EGCG) on human cervical lesions Eur J Cancer Prev;Vol12(5):383-90. PMID: 14512803.
  13. Hudson T (2007) Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health. McGraw-Hill.