Cervical Dysplasia is the term given to the presence of abnormal cells on the cervix. In virtually all cases, these abnormal cells are caused by the presence of one of the strains of Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. In the majority of cases, the body will heal an HPV infection on its own. In some cases, however, the body may not be able to heal, and the grade of cervical dysplasia can worsen. In rare cases, it can progress to cervical cancer.
Conventional treatment for cervical dysplasia involves either watching and waiting, or a LEEP procedure. Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) uses a thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop to cut out abnormal tissue and cauterize it. It removes a significant amount of tissue, and during the healing process can leave scar tissue. Other complications include prolonged bleeding and risk of infection. If the cervix is scarred, it may not open and close properly, which can interfere with conception and normal childbirth. In addition, LEEP does nothing to deal with the underlying cause of the cervical dysplasia, which is the HPV infection.
Natural Treatments for Abnormal PAP Results and HPV Infection
Our Holistic Treatment Approach
Natural treatments for cervical dysplasia, HPV, and abnormal PAP results vary depending on the severity of the atypical cells found on the PAP or colposcopy. In addition to a normal result there are 3 levels of abnormality: ASCUS – Abnormal Squamous Cells of Unknown Significance, Low Grade and High Grade Dysplasia. A result of “ASCUS” suggests mildly abnormal cells which have minimal clinical significance. This will often resolve on its own with no treatment. High Grade Dysplasia generally requires additional treatment. For all types of dysplasia, the natural treatment process involves systemic anti-viral treatment through a combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs and homeopathic medicines as well as a full evaluation of your health include labs to determine if there is anything else affecting your immune system. This systemic support boosts your immune system’s ability to fight viruses, and is one of the main differences from the conventional surgical procedure.
In the presence of low grade dysplasia, local treatment of the cervix is combined with systemic treatment. This usually consists of the use of natural suppositories consisting of herbs and vitamins. The treatment length depends on the details of your individual case, but will usually be from a few weeks to a month or two. The PAP exam is repeated after treatment to assess your progress of healing. If there is high grade dsyplasia present, an herbal escharotic treatment may be indicated as the local treatment depending on the colposcopy results. When the escharotic treatment is used, it is often combined with systemic treatment and the self-administration of herbal suppositories.
Cervical Escharotic Treatment for Abnormal Pap.
Specialized in-office treatments called cervical escharotics are an effective natural option for many cases of cervical dysplasia and HPV, and tend to have a lower risk profile than the LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) commonly used by conventional gynecologists. The term “escharotic” refers to the sclerosing and exfoliating effect of an application of medicine to abnormal tissue, meaning that the abnormal tissue loses water, dies and eventually sloughs off.
Natural Escharotic treatments start with the local application of a natural enzyme, bromelain, to the surface of the cervix. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple that breaks down the walls of abnormal cells. This is left in place for 15 minutes, and it essentially dissolves away the top layer of cells on the cervix which are infected and damaged by the HPV virus. The bromelain is then washed with an herbal solution which stimulates the regrowth of normal tissue and is very soothing to the irritated tissue. This is followed by the application of Sanguinaria canadensis tincture, a plant known as bloodroot, which is mixed with a solution of zinc chloride, and left on the cervix for one minute. The cervix is washed again with soothing Calendula, then herbal vaginal suppositories that have anti-viral properties are inserted and left in overnight.
The treatment length varies but usually consists of approximately 12 treatments. These treatments can be performed 2x per week for approximately 6 weeks. Alternatively, treatments can be spaced out so that you have 1-2 treatments every few weeks with vaginal suppositories in between treatments to assist in healing. The advantage of the Natural Escharotic method is that it is actually far more sophisticated than the LEEP procedure, which damages a great deal of normal tissue in addition to cutting away the damaged cells. The Natural Escharotic treatment also includes aspects to stimulate the regrowth of normal tissue, which the LEEP procedure does not. The main disadvantage of this treatment method is that it requires more than one treatment. Because of the health benefits compared to conventional treatment, however, most women prefer this more gentle, natural method of treatment.
To start the Escharotic treatment protocol the patient must first make an initial appointment with Ellen Lewis, ND to have a full evaluation and determine if the Escharotic treatment is appropriate for them. During the first appointment Dr. Lewis reviews your health history and lab work, and puts together a comprehensive treatment plan including supplements. The first appointment is 90 minutes. An additional 45 minutes is blocked out for an escharotic treatment on the same day as your initial appointment if you move forward with the escharotic protocol.