Cervical Dysplasia refers to abnormal cells on the cervix. Learn about the causes, treatment options and prevention.
What is Cervical Dysplasia?
Cervical Dysplasia is a condition where healthy cells on the cervix (the canal that connects the uterus to the vagina) become abnormal. These cells are not cancerous, but can develop into cancer if they are not identified and treated early.
Causes of Cervical Dysplasia
Cervical Dysplasia is caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection affecting 80% of women and men at some point in their lives. It usually does not cause symptoms, and most genital HPV infections resolve without treatment. Persistent infection with high-risk HPV can lead to Cervical Dysplasia.
Other risk factors for Cervical Dysplasia include:
- Smoking tobacco
- Not having regular cervical screening
- Having a suppressed immune system, either through an illness or through taking medication that suppresses the immune system
- Having sex early, or having a lot of sexual partners (as this can increase the statistical risk of acquiring HPV)
Diagnosis of Cervical Dysplasia
Because HPV and Cervical Dysplasia often do not cause any symptoms, it’s important to have regular Cervical Screening Tests (CSTs). CSTs are offered through the National Cervical Screening Program and test for HPV and Cervical Dysplasia.
If abnormalities are detected, you may be referred for Colposcopy. This involves examination of the cervix, vagina and vulva using a magnifying device called a Colposcope. A Colposcopy can be performed by one of Frances Perry House Gynaecologists.
Depending on the results of Colposcopy your Gynaecologist may recommend
- Repeat Cervical Screening
- Repeat Colposcopy
Treatment Options for Cervical Dysplasia
Treatment of Cervical Dysplasia will prevent development of Cervical Cancer. Treatment options include:
- Wire loop excision (also known as LEEP or LLETZ), where a wire loop heated by electrical current is used to remove the abnormal cells
- Laser ablation, where the abnormal cells are destroyed using a laser
- Cone biopsy, where a small cone-shaped piece of tissue is removed
- Cervical diathermy, where diathermy is used to remove tissue
The treatment recommended by your Gynaecologist will be determined based on your individual health circumstances.
Frances Perry House is home to many experienced and highly reputable Gynaecologists with expertise in a variety of women's health issues, including management of Cervical Dysplasia. To book a consultation with a Frances Perry House Gynaecologist, please request a referral from your GP. You can choose a Specialist using our specialist search tool.
Prevention of HPV
Using condoms only offers some protection against HPV, as it is spread by genital skin to skin contact, and condoms do not cover the whole genital skin. The best way to protect yourself and others against HPV is to get vaccinated. Gardasil 9 vaccine protects against 90% of Cervical Dysplasia and Cervical Cancer. In Australia boys and girls aged 12-13 receive free Gardasil 9 vaccine at school on the National Immunisation Program. It is also available for free to anyone under 20 if they were not vaccinated at school. The vaccine is also licensed to anyone up to the age of 45 at a cost. Vaccinated women still need to have regular CSTs as vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV.
Dr Natalia Khomko, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Frances Perry House, clinically approved this content. Click here to view the specialists accredited to provide gynaecological care at Frances Perry House.