Cervical dysplasia3 or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is a known precursor to cancer. It is a condition where the cells in the lining between the uterus and the vagina have an abnormal growth.
While cervical dysplasia does not automatically mean you have cancer, leaving it untreated will eventually lead to it becoming cancerous. Cervical dysplasia is a growing problem, and having various treatment methods for it is necessary. Ozone therapy for cervical dysplasia is one among the various treatment.
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Overview of Cervical Dysplasia
In cervical dysplasia, the healthy cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that dilates during childbirth — undergo abnormal changes, most commonly due to the infection human papillomavirus (HPV)3.
Even though HPV can infect both men and women, its effects are more devastating for women.
HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that is usually harmless and often resolves on its own.. While there are more than 200 types of HPV, only 40 lead to infection in the cervix, vagina, rectum, and vulva in the female, and penis and scrotum in the male.
Like other genital infections, most HPV patients are asymptomatic. However, some HPV types are ultimately linked to cancer.
Another cause for cervical dysplasia is a weak immune system, which is usually brought about by taking immunosuppressant drugs, smoking, or being infected by other diseases like HIV2.
Diagnosing Cervical Dysplasia
Cervical dysplasia does not normally exhibit symptoms, and the only way to find out if you are infected is through a routine pap smear, a type of medical test that collects cell samples from the cervix.
With the ever changing cervix cells being prone to HPV infection, a pap smear allows the analyst to see if there are any abnormalities in the collected cell sample.
During a pap smear, a doctor or nurse will put a speculum into the vagina and use a soft brush or endocervical cotton bud to collect the cell samples.
This test is often a requirement for women of varying ages. For females aged 21 to 29, it is recommended to get a pap smear every 3 years while women aged 30 to 65 should have pap and HPV tests conducted every 5 years.
Pap smear tests are highly uncomfortable, but they should not be painful. Results should be ready within 1 to 3 weeks. If the results come out as ‘abnormal,’ you might need to do another pap test or other pertinent tests, like a cone biopsy or colposcopy, to determine if the cause is cervical dysplasia.
Having an ‘abnormal’ Result in a Pap Smear Test
Pap test results will indicate any abnormality in the squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL)3. The abnormality is often described as a ‘dysplasia’ or cellular tissue damage.
An abnormal result can mean any of four things: mild dysplasia, moderate-to-severe dysplasia, carcinoma, or atypical glandular cells (AGUS).
Mild dysplasia, also known as low-grade SIL, usually indicates the presence of HPV. It can also cause genital warts.
Normally, it gets better on its own unless the immune system struggles to fight off the infection. However, some patients will opt to have the abnormal cells removed rather than wait for them to heal on their own.
Moderate-to-severe dysplasia is caused by high-grade SIL, precancerous lesions that involve the cells found on the cervix’s surface.
With the risks, high-grade SIL is often treated by removing the lesions, though it is still possible for the lesions to get better on their own.
Carcinoma and Agus
Carcinoma and AGUS are definite indicators of cancer. To verify, the patient must undergo a colposcopy and other tests.
Risk Factors for Cervical Dysplasia
The risk factors for cervical dysplasia include being sexually active at a young age, having multiple sex partners, and giving birth before reaching the age of 16.
It should also be noted that the virus can still live on the skin surrounding your genitals even when you are practicing safe sex (i.e. using condoms).
Aside from these factors, you are also more likely to develop cervical dysplasia if you are smoking cigarettes. They naturally suppress your immune system, which is responsible for fighting off infections.
Anything that negatively affects your immune system can be considered a risk factor. For example, taking immunosuppressant drugs, like those taken by people who undergo an organ transplant surgery, will surely increase their chances of developing cervical dysplasia.
Common Treatment for Cervical Dysplasia
Even though cervical dysplasia often resolves with time, some doctors still recommend that patients get the treatment3 they need. The mode of treatment wholly depends on the severity of the disease and the age of the patient.
For mild dysplasia, continuous monitoring of the disease through regular pap smear is often required.
If left untreated, mild dysplasia can progress to moderate-to-severe dysplasia, which can be treated by doing a cone biopsy where the abnormal tissue is removed through a small surgical operation. It takes about a month for the scars to heal.
Leep (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure)
Another option for treating cervical dysplasia is through the Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP).
As in the cone biopsy, the doctor will remove the abnormal tissue using a looped thin wire. Normally, the procedure does not carry serious risks or side effects, but it can lead to mild vaginal bleeding and cramping.
Other Treatment Options
Other possible treatments include cryosurgery where the abnormal cells are destroyed using liquid nitrogen; electrocauterization where doctors use electricity to cauterize and remove abnormal tissue growth; and laser surgery to remove the diseased tissue.
All these treatments can lead to vaginal bleeding. It is up to the doctor to inform the patient of the risk they are taking.
Ozone Therapy for Cervical Dysplasia
With all the invasive, painful, and possible unwanted side-effects of cervical dysplasia treatments, it is important to find alternative ways for treating the disease.
For people who are not keen on experiencing these side-effects, ozone therapy seems like a viable option to take. Medical ozone has always been used to treat and heal various types of illness with minimal risks.
Medical ozone is a gaseous substance produced by running pure oxygen gas through an ozone generator. The resulting ozone/oxygen mixture is then administered to the body through various methods, depending on the disease or illness.
Medical ozone is also a popular disinfectant, capable of removing bacteria, fungi, and viruses from the bloodstream.
Aside from killing the source of infection, ozone therapy is also effective at removing damaged cells through oxidation. As the old, diseased cells die, healthy cells take their place. This effectively puts a stop to the disease’s progression to cervical dysplasia.
Studies4 show that HPV infection, the main cause of cervical dysplasia, can either be alleviated or avoided by using ozone therapy with conservative treatment methods. It helps reduce the severe side effects of chemotherapy1.
Additional clinical studies still need to be conducted to further confirm ozone therapy’s efficacy for cervical dysplasia, but the current research, despite being little, provides some positive results in the way it fights off the infection.
Cervical dysplasia is an illness often considered a precursor to cancer. It is mostly caused by HPV, a virus that is usually transmitted through sexual activities.
Like some sexually transmitted infections, you may never know that you have been infected by the virus since its symptoms do not normally present themselves. The only way to determine for sure whether you have been infected is through a routine pap smear.
Women from the ages 21 to 65 are recommended to undergo a regular pap smear every 3 to 5 years, depending on their age. A pap smear is an invasive medical test that entails getting vaginal cell samples through scraping.
An abnormal pap smear result would mean that cervical dysplasia might be present, though more medical tests need to be done to be certain.
Treating cervical dysplasia is as invasive as pap smear. These treatments involve surgically removing the abnormal cells from the cervix, which can also lead to mild side-effects like pain, cramps, and vaginal bleeding. On top of it all, the healing process would take about a month.
Ozone therapy offers a safe, non-invasive, and generally painless approach to treating cervical dysplasia. The disinfecting properties of medical ozone have been studied and proven effective in eliminating papillomavirus in cottontail rabbits, though more studies are needed to prove its efficacy in removing the same virus from the human body.
- Enzelsberger, H., Metka, M., & Salzer, H. (1987). Effect of a parenteral ozone-oxygen mixture on the concentration of immunoglobulins (IgA, IgG, IgM), of vitamin A and lysozyme activity in patients with cervical cancer. Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde, 47(12), 343-5. German. PMID: 3436505.
- Maggiore, C. (2002, November). My bout of so-called AIDS. Awareness Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.aliveandwell.org/html/rethinking/my_bout_of_so.html
- Medline Plus. (2020, December 22). Cervical dysplasia. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001491.htm
- Rodionova, O. G., Gusareva, M. A., Voshedskiy, V. I., Vasilyeva, E. O., Sheiko, E. A., Solntseva, A. A., Sakun, P. G., Vlasov, S. G., Museyko, K. N., Pustovalova, A. V., Chalabova, T. G., & Kit, O. I. (2020). Ozone therapy as accompanying treatment for chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced cervical cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 38(15). https://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2020.38.15_suppl.e18030
- Sayhan, H. (2017, February 17). Clinical effects of ozone therapy in cervical disc hernia. Retrieved from https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03056911