Cervical dysplasia is a precancerous condition in which abnormal cells are present on the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. A woman usually doesn't notice any symptoms of cervical dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia is normally discovered during a pap test conducted as part of a wellness examination.
The cells on the surface of the cervix can change at any time. Women of any age can develop cervical dysplasia, but it most commonly appears in women between the ages of 25 and 35. In the United States, between 250,000 and 1 million women are diagnosed with cervical dysplasia each year.1Mone, Amy. Cervical Dysplasia: Kimmel Cancer Center, 17 July 2017, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/kimmel/cancer/center/cancers/we/treat/cervical/dysplasia/about/cervical/dysplasia/.
1. Causes and Risk Factors of Cervical Dysplasia
The Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, is the most common cause of cervical dysplasia. It's a sexually transmitted virus.
A person who has multiple sex partners or becomes sexually active before age 18 is at greater risk of developing cervical dysplasia. Using condoms can help prevent HPV transmission, but they don't provide full protection. Women who give birth before age 16 may be more likely to develop cervical dysplasia. Smoking or chewing tobacco also increases the risk of cervical dysplasia. In addition, people with weakened immune systems, due to illness or taking certain prescribed medications, are more prone to developing cervical dysplasia.2Staff, Familydoctor.org Editorial. ‘What Is Cervical Dysplasia? - Treatment & Prevention.’ Familydoctor.org, American Academy of Family Physicians, 21 Jan. 2021, familydoctor.org/condition/cervical-dysplasia/.