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Cervial Dysplasia
General Gynaecology 

The cervix is the opening between the uterus and the vagina. Cervical dysplasia is a precancerous condition where abnormal cells grow on the surface of the cervix. It is also known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). 

Cervical dysplasia is commonly seen in women under age 30 but can develop at any age. Cervical dysplasia usually causes no symptoms and is often detected during a routine Pap test.  If left untreated, cervical dysplasia can progress to cervical cancer. 

Causes of Cervical Dysplasia

Cervical dysplasia has been strongly associated with sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Hence, it affects both men and women that have been sexually active, even just once. HPV infection is common, and it is estimated that up to 90% of people, that is, nine in ten persons, in Australia have HPV at some time in their lives. 

HPV is usually passed via sexual contact with an infected person, and this includes vaginal sex, anal sex, and oral sex. Sometimes, it is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

Persistent HPV infection in women can cause abnormal cells to grow over time and lead to cervical dysplasia. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it has the possibility of progression to cervical cancer.

Risk factors for Cervical Dysplasia

Chronic, untreated HPV infection is the most significant risk factor for cervical dysplasia. The following are factors that increase a woman’s risk of a chronic HPV infection:

  • Becoming sexually active at a younger age
  • Having unprotected sex
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Having a partner with multiple sex partners
  • Having sex with an uncircumcised man
  • Having a history of STIs
  • Smoking
  • Having an HIV infection
  • Being on immunosuppressant drugs

Treatments for Cervical Dysplasia

The treatment of cervical dysplasia depends on many different factors, including the severity of the condition and the age of the patient. 

For mild cervical dysplasia:

  • Monitoring with repeat Cervical Screening tests (for mild cervical dysplasia)

For moderate to severe cervical dysplasia:

  • Cold knife cone biopsy (conization)
  • Cryosurgery (freezing)
  • Electrocauterization
  • Laser surgery
  • Hysterectomy

Prevention of cervical dysplasia

Cervical dysplasia risk can be reduced by preventing HPV infection. Measures to reduce the risk of HPV infection include:

  • Practice abstinence or safe sex
  • Quit smoking
  • Get regular Cervical Screening tests

You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 07 3188 5000.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.

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