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, often only continued monitoring with repeat Pap tests is needed for women ages 20 and younger. For older women with mild cervical dysplasia, usually no treatment is needed unless mild cervical dysplasia has persisted for two years, progressed to moderate or severe cervical dysplasia, or there are other medical problems.
Treatments for cervical dysplasia include two of the procedures also used for diagnosis: cone biopsy or LEEP.
Other treatments include:
- Cryosurgery (freezing)
- Laser surgery
- Traditional surgery
Because all forms of treatment are associated with risks such as heavy bleeding and possible complications affecting pregnancy, it's important for patients to discuss these risks with their doctor prior to treatment. After treatment, all patients require follow-up testing, which may involve repeat Pap tests in six and 12 months or an HPV DNA test. After follow-up, regular Pap tests are necessary.
Prevention of Cervical Dysplasia
Women can lower their risk of cervical dysplasia by avoiding the high-risk sexual behaviors associated with HPV infection, such as early sexual initiation and having multiple sexual partners. Sexually active women whose male partners correctly use condoms during every sexual encounter may have up to a 70% reduced risk of HPV infection.
Other preventive measures include avoiding smoking and following the American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cervical cancer, which recommend that every woman should begin cervical cancer screening at age 21.
Two vaccines -- Gardasil and Cervarix -- have been approved by the FDA to help prevent infection with some types of HPV, including the types that cause most cases of cervical cancer.
According to guidelines endorsed by the CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, girls should be vaccinated between ages 11 and 12 before they become sexually active; girls and young women between ages 13 and 26 who have not yet received the vaccine should also be vaccinated. Gardasil vaccine is also recommended for males.