holy pap smear batman! what to do if yours isn’t ‘normal’…
Posted Oct 30 2012 7:50pm
Ever had an abnormal pap smear or know somebody who has? Like everything health related, we have options with health treatments. Many western medical treatments are aggressive, which can be wonderful if you're at the end of your road. Everything has a place, it is simply a matter of working out what works for you. For me, I'm all about the alternatives, not because I like to be different, but because they work, without nasty side effects or consequences. These very consequences can at times, land somebody in deeper water than they first started. Which is why I want to share alternatives and just how effective these can be.
So back to the pap smear. Nobody loves a pap smear. Equally nobody loves to get a bad result in any area of health. Abnormal cell or tissue growth in the cervix is called cervical dysplasia. Dysplasia may or may not progress to cancer. A high percentage of cervical dysplaysias and cancers are linked to the human papiloma virus (HPV), meaning it is sexually transmitted. This alongside long term use of oral contraceptives, smoking, alcohol abuse, poor nutrition or an immune system which is poor functioning as well as some drugs and HIV infection are all risk factors for developing cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer.
Good news is, before you run off for any type of procedure, there are ways to treat cervical dysphasia.
When you have a pap test, a sample via a swab, is taken of the cells in your cervix. The swab contains epithelial cells and they are studied to see if they look normal or how close to normal they appear. A pap test grades these cells on a range from 1 to 5. One or two on the scale are usually benign, however they should be followed up. When we get to 3 on the scale, is where your GP will follow it up for a closer look and 4 or 5 is cancerous and usually requires treatment.
If a pap test comes back with some small changes, it's perfectly acceptable to treat this with some healthy living, supplementation and a kind lifestyle and then tested regularly to ensure this is working for you. You gotta know this much. Pre-cancerous cells are not cancer. Most cells that present this way, will happily go back to being normal again. The majority of such inflammation is related to something other than HPV like the pill (we've learnt just how little a fan I am here and here and here, as if I needed another reason) or alcohol, smoking or poor diet. Good news is the success rate using the right supplementation is extremely high.
Here are a few interesting stats:
Older women are less likely to had HPV infections
Best schedule pap smears away from the period time or if you have an infection (i.e. thrush). This can skew your results dramatically. (get your natural health care practitioner to treat you first and then go back and grab that smear) Also best to avoid using tampons 48 hours before the test – they too can cause inflammation that may show up as irregularities.
Conventional treatments for the treatment of cervical dysplasia use cryotherapy for small areas or using CO2 laser via colposcopy. In severe cases, the cervix may be removed. According to CMDT – NONE of these treatments can guarantee a remission or prevent recurrence. Reality is, you can still spread the virus even if you have been treated.
Here's where the true, tried and tested methods of operation wellness overhaul fit in. Get your body back into gear and chances are, your body can do a great job of healing itself with the right guidance. I'm doing to dive deeper into the hows and why's in the second part to this post, but I'll give you a few things to think about until then.
If your pap smear shows with mild dysplasia – it may be a good idea to hold off on any procedures to see if you can get things back on track. Such procedures can be damaging, and whilst I agree that left untreated, these conditions are life threatening, they are also extremely treatable with natural methods. Set yourself a target of 3-6 months (talk it through with your gynacologist and explain what you are doing), get healthy, supplement right (we will talk about this more next week) and go back and re-test. You're in control of your body, so take the reigns.
I'll be back next week to talk more about what to do if your pap isn't normal – to outline specific diet, lifestyle and supplements that may be useful to get you back on track. Of course, no two situations will be the same and you always must weigh up your options but getting healthy is never, ever doing to do you any harm.