Abnormal Pap Test
The pap screening test was implemented into the medical system in 1960, after studies done in the 1950’s by George Papanicolaou who suggested that cervical cancer rates could be reduced by half with cervical samples taken during a woman’s annual exam and ultimately promote the health of women for years to come.
The PAP test is used to screen for abnormal cells on the cervix as well as cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer in young women between the ages of 20-39 years old.
At some point in their life many women may receive an abnormal pap result following a routine annual exam. Usually this comes as a shock to most women who claim to have no symptoms or to have done anything differently to warrant the abnormal result.
Causes of an abnormal pap test
Ninety percent of abnormal pap tests can be attributed to the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV virus is a sexually transmitted disease and can be symptomatic or asymptomatic in people and is the same virus that causes genital warts. It is thought that 70% of the population has or will have been infected with HPV during their lifetime. There are many strains of the human papillomavirus classified into low, medium, and high risk. The higher the risk of the particular strain the more invasive it can act in your body. High-risk strains include: HPV 16,18,31.
In cases of low cervical dysplasia or abnormal call growth 60% of the cases have been seen to spontaneously regress. This occurs when your body recognizes the abnormal cell growth and stimulates your immune system to work against the virus.
In cases of moderate cervical dysplasia 30% of the cases have been seen to spontaneously regress. As the diagnosis moves from low to high more invasive procedures are required to aid the immune system of your body. Conventionally, ablative procedures are used to remove the virally infected cells and allow your immune response to replace them with healthy cells. Conventional procedures include cryotherapy, electrocautery, cone biopsy, and LEEP. For women of childbearing age these procedures involve direct insult to the cervix and occasionally partial removal of the cervix, which can lead to problems carrying a pregnancy to term.
If so many people are infected with HPV, why does the virus express itself as warts or an abnormal pap test in some women and not in others?
The answer lies in the overall health of the individual, personal sexual history, history of oral contraceptive use, age, and lifestyle factors. Oral contraceptive use, smoking, and drinking alcohol deplete your body of vitamins required for healthy cell turnover.
How can natural medicine help?
Natural medicine offers preventative lifestyle changes that can make cervical dysplasia and ultimately cervical cancer 100% avoidable. Replenishing your body with nutrients such as B-vitamins, vitamin A, and Folic acid can help reverse cervical dysplasia in low to moderate risk categories.
Naturopathically much attention is placed on strengthening your immune system and increasing your overall health through nutritional, botanical, and lifestyle improvements. These changes improve the health of your cells to the point where the virus no longer feels at home and thus resolves.
Occasionally, more invasive natural treatment is required and treatments will involve both oral and vaginal applications of vitamins and herbs for resolution of the virus. Naturopathic Medicine offers safe, effective, treatment of abnormal pap tests and cervical dysplasia. Stimulating your body with the right combination of herbs, nutrients, and homeopathy to heal itself.