We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Cervical Dysplasia?

By Madeleine A.
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cevical dysplasia refers to the presence of abnormal cervical cells. Cervical dysplasia may indicate precancerous, or even cancerous, cells in the cervix. Typically, the extent of cervical abnormality is referred to as either low- or high-grade. Low-grade dysplasia is very slow growing and may revert back to normal without any medical intervention or treatment. High-grade dysplasia usually progresses more rapidly and may progress to cervical cancer if not treated.

Dysplasia is generally diagnosed by a pap smear. A pap smear can indicate the presence of cervical dysplasia even though there are no symptoms present. A pap smear is a medical test in which a sample of cervical cells are retrieved from the cervix for microscopic evaluation of abnormal cells. If the pap smear indicates cervical dysplasia, further medical testing, such as a biopsy or colposcopy—where the doctor uses a magnifying instrument to view the cervix—may be warranted.

Risk factors for cervical dysplasia may include smoking and genital warts. Occasionally, having multiple sexual partners and dietary deficiencies may contribute to risk factors. Smoking is considered a risk factor because the chemicals and toxins in cigarette smoke tend to accumulate in the cervix, potentially offering a hospitable environment for cellular changes. Quitting smoking can decrease the risk of contracting cervical dysplasia and ultimately cervical cancer.

Although medications are not usually effective in treating cervical dysplasia, there are other effective treatments that can alleviate this condition. Laser therapy, which destroys abnormal tissue in the cervix, is an effective treatment for dysplasia. Loop electrosurgical excision, where a wire removes areas of abnormal tissue, is also an effective treatment. This procedure requires a local anesthetic and may be performed in an outpatient setting.

Another procedure called cryocauterization is one of the most widely-used methods for eliminating cervical dysplasia. Cryocauterization utilizes cold therapy to destroy dysplastic cervical tissue. This procedure is typically done without the use of anesthesia and is very simple and safe.

Since most incidences of cervical dysplasia are slow to progress, cervical cancer is typically a preventable disease. When abnormal cervical cells and cervical changes can be effectively treated while still in the precancerous stages, cervical cancer can usually be prevented. In addition to regular pap smears, eating healthy and avoiding smoking are important components in reducing the risk of cervical cancer.

Just as regular pap smears are important in detecting cervical abnormalities, regular pelvic examinations are equally as important. A pelvic examination allows the physician to palpate cervical and uterine structures for abnormalities which may indicate cervical abnormalities. Frequency of regular pap smears and pelvic examinations generally are based upon the patient's past medical and social history and current general state of health.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.