(Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia [CIN]; Precancerous Changes of the Cervix)
DefinitionDysplasia is abnormal growth or development of cells. Cervical dysplasia happens in the cells covering the surface of a woman's cervix. If cervical dysplasia is not treated, it may lead to cervical cancer.
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CausesCervical dysplasia is caused by a sexually transmitted virus. The virus is called the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus causes abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. The most significant cervical change would be cancer. There are different types of HPV. The risk of cervical disease may be high or low depending on the type of HPV.
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chance of cervical dysplasia include:
- Multiple sexual partners
- Early onset of sexual activity (before age 18)
- Early childbearing (before age 16)
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Genital herpes
- Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in the uterus—an estrogen-like substance given to prevent miscarriages in high-risk pregnancies
SymptomsThere are often no apparent symptoms with cervical dysplasia. Cervical changes are found through screening tests.
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