Cervical Dysplasia

Definition: Cervical dysplasia is a condition characterized by the abnormal growth of cells on the surface of the cervix, indicating either precancerous or cancerous cells.

Nutrition and Dietary Supplements
Following these nutritional tips may help reduce the chances of developing cervical dysplasia, however, any nutritional interventions should be cleared by your doctor. Some nutrients can interfere with certain medications and procedures.

•Eat calcium rich foods, including beans, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and kale).
•Eat more cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
•Eat antioxidant rich foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell pepper).
•Avoid refined foods such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
•Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy is present), or beans for protein.
•Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil.
•Reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
•Avoid coffee and other stimulants, alcohol, and tobacco.
•Drink 6 - 8 glasses of filtered water daily.
•Exercise moderately, for 30 minutes daily, 5 days a week.

Nutritional deficiencies may be addressed with the following supplements:

•Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, 1 - 2 capsules or 1 tablespoonful oil daily, to help decrease inflammation and improve general health.
•A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, D, E, the B-vitamins, and trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium. Folic acid is important in preventing cervical dysplasia and should be part of a multivitamin supplement.
•Digestive enzymes, 1 - 2 tablets 3 times daily with meals.
•Coenzyme Q10, 100 - 200 mg at bedtime, for antioxidant and immune activity.
•N-acetyl cysteine, 200 mg daily, for antioxidant effects.
•Acidophilus (Lactobacillus acidophilus), 5 - 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) daily, when needed for maintenance of gastrointestinal and immune health.
•Grapefruit seed extract (Citrus paradisi), 100 mg capsule or 5 - 10 drops (in favorite beverage) 3 times daily, for antibacterial/antifungal activity, gastrointestinal health and immunity.
•Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), 3,000 mg twice a day, to help decrease inflammation.

Herbs are generally a safe way to strengthen and tone the body's systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider to diagnose your problem before starting any treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, make teas with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 - 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 - 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 - 4 cups per day. You may use tinctures alone or in combination as noted.

•Green tea (Camelia sinensis) standardized extract, 250 - 500 mg daily, for antioxidant and immune effects. You may also prepare teas from the leaf of this herb.
•Cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) standardized extract, 20 mg 3 times a day, for inflammation, immune and antibacterial/antifungal activity.
•Bromelain (Ananus comosus) standardized extract, 40 mg 3 times daily, for pain and inflammation.
•Turmeric (Curcuma longa) standardized extract, 300 mg 3 times a day, for inflammation. May increase bleeding time so if you are using blood thinning medication, talk to your doctor before using turmeric.
•Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), 150 - 300 mg 2 - 3 times daily, for inflammation and for immunity. You may also take a tincture of this mushroom extract, 30 - 60 drops 2 - 3 times a day.

Several population-based studies suggest that eating a diet rich in the following nutrients from fruits and vegetables may protect against the development of cervical cancer:

Some controversial clinical studies suggest that individuals deficient in beta-carotene may be more likely to develop cancerous or precancerous cervical lesions, but this relationship remains inconclusive. Other studies indicate that oral supplementation with beta-carotene may promote a decline in the signs of cervical dysplasia. Despite these promising results, the benefit of using beta-carotene supplements to prevent the development of cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer has not been proven.

Supplemental beta-carotene may increase the risk of lung cancer, prostate cancer, intracerebral hemorrhage, and cardiovascular and total mortality in people who smoke cigarettes or have a history of high-level exposure to asbestos. Beta-carotene from foods does not seem to have this effect.

Folate (Vitamin B9)
Like beta-carotene, some evidence suggests that folate (also known as vitamin B9) deficiencies may contribute to the development of cancerous or precancerous lesions in the cervix. Researchers also theorize that folate consumed in the diet may improve the cellular changes seen in cervical dysplasia by lowering homocysteine (a substance believed to contribute to the severity of cervical dysplasia) levels. The benefit of using dietary folate to prevent or treat cervical dysplasia has not been sufficiently proven.

Folate-Rich Foods
•Black-eyed peas
•Kidney beans
•Great Northern beans
•Iceberg lettuce
•Lima beans
•Sunflower seeds
•Brussels sprouts
•Baked beans
•Green peas
•Baked potato
•Romaine lettuce
•Tomato Juice
•Orange juice



The Wonders of Maca
A cruciferous vegetable of the mustard family, maca is related to radishes and turnips; maca grows at altitudes of 14,500 feet (4,420 metres) in the Andean mountains of Peru, where few other plants can survive.

Benefits of Maca:
•relieved hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms
•enhanced libido and imroved potency
•increased energy, stamina, and endurance
•relieved depression and reduced stress
•relieved premenstrual syndrome, or PMS
•improved athletic performance
•increased testosterone levels
•enhanced fertility

Maca: A Natural Secret
Maca is used to regulate hormonal functions and slow the decline of an aging hormonal system—for both women and men. Its action focuses on the root of all hormonal problems by nourishing and strengthening the hypothalamus/pituitary axis (HPA).

Maca may be used as an alternative to conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help lessen the symptoms of menopause. Maca also regulates and balances the entire endocrine system, strengthening and toning the reproductive glands to promote a heightened sense of well-being and provide the body with greater energy and vitality.

When shopping for a maca supplement, look for a brand that uses pure, certified organic maca originating from the Peruvian highlands. Gelatinization of maca (the removal of starch from the root, producing a powder that is easier to digest) allows for greater potency and optimal absorption.

Maca is available in capsules, tablets, and powder. It has a pleasant, malty, butterscotch-like flavour, perfect for smoothies. Remember, maca is a food and less than 1,500 mg daily will likely not deliver desired results. The suggested intake is 1,500 to 5,000 mg daily in two doses.

More About Maca
In addition to sugars and proteins, maca contains uridine, malic acid and its benzoyl derivative, and the glucosinolates, glucotropaeolin and m-methoxyglucotropaeolin. The methanol extract of maca tuber also contained (1R, 3S)-1-methyltetrahydro-carboline-3-carboxylic acid, a molecule which is reported to exert many activities on the central nervous system. The nutritional value of dried maca root is high, similar to cereal grains such as rice and wheat. It contains 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 8.5% dietary fiber, and 2.2% fats. Maca is rich in essential minerals, especially selenium, calcium, magnesium, and iron, and includes fatty acids including linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acids, and 19 amino acids, as well as polysaccharides. Maca's reported beneficial effects for sexual function could be due to its high concentration of proteins and vital nutrients, though maca contains a chemical called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which reputedly has aphrodisiac properties.

The growing demand of the supplement industry has been one of the primary reasons for maca's expansion. The prominent product is maca flour, which is ground from the hard, dried roots. In Peru, maca flour is used in baking as a base and a flavoring. The supplement industry uses both the dry roots and maca flour for different types of processing and concentrated extracts. A quick internet query will show dozens of different extracts available, each touting some enhanced efficaciousness for a traditional use or health claim. Another common form is maca which has undergone gelatinization. This is an extrusion process, sometimes used for other vegetables, which removes the fiber from the roots using slight heat and pressure. Maca is one of many root vegetables with a dense fiber matrix which can be gelatinized to create products with more efficient digestion. Gelatinized maca is many fold stronger than powdered root, and is employed for mainly for therapeutic, medicinal and supplement purposes. It can also be used like maca flour. There is also freeze-dried maca juice, which is a juice squeezed from the macerated fresh root, and subsequently freeze-dried.

Small-scale clinical trials performed in men have shown that maca extracts can heighten libido and improve semen quality, though no studies have been performed on men with sexual dysfunction or infertility. Maca does not affect sex hormone levels in humans, and has not been shown to act on hormones directly. It has been presumed that maca's hormone-normalizing effects may be due to the root's unique nutritional profile, which provides optimum levels of nutrients utilized by the body's endocrine system. In addition, maca has been shown to increase mating behavior in male mice and rats.



Female Reproductive System: interactive diagram
Internal / External Body Diagrams: interactive

Vulva - The external genital organs of the female. The vulva has many major and minor anatomical structures.

Vagina - The human vagina is an elastic muscular canal that extends from the cervix to the vulva. The word vagina is quite often incorrectly used to refer to the vulva or female genitals generally; strictly speaking, the vagina is a specific internal structure.

Labium (plural labia) - A Latin-derived term meaning "Lip". Labium and its derivatives (including labial, labrum) are used to describe any lip-like structure, but in the English language, labium often specifically refers to parts of the vulva.

Clitoris - A sexual organ that is present only in female mammals. In humans, the visible button-like portion is located near the anterior junction of the labia minora, above the opening of the urethra and vagina.

In humans, the clitoris is the most sensitive erogenous zone of the female, the stimulation of which may produce sexual excitement and clitoral erection; its continuing stimulation may produce sexual pleasure in the female and orgasm, and is considered the key to females' sexual pleasure.

Clitoral Hood - In female human anatomy, the clitoral hood is a fold of skin that surrounds and protects the clitoral glans. It develops as part of the labia minora and is homologous with the foreskin in male genitals.

Hymen - A fold of mucous membrane that surrounds or partially covers the external vaginal opening. It forms part of the vulva, or external genitalia. Despite this, it is not possible to confirm with 100% certainty that a woman is a virgin by examining her hymen. In cases of suspected rape or sexual abuse, a detailed examination of the hymen may be carried out; but in rare instances the condition of the hymen alone is often inconclusive or open to misinterpretation, especially if the patient has reached puberty.

Perineum - The region of the body inferior to the pelvic diaphragm and between the legs. It is a diamond-shaped area on the inferior surface of the trunk which includes the anus and, in females, the vagina. Its definition varies: it can refer to only the superficial structures in this region, or it can be used to include both superficial and deep structures. It is an erogenous zone for both males and females.

A wide variety of slang terms are commonly used for this area of the human body, but they generally refer to a smaller, less inclusive area -- just the surface skin region between the anus and the penis or vagina.

Urethra - A tube that connects the urinary bladder to the outside of the body. In females, the urethra is shorter and emerges above the vaginal opening.

The external urethral sphincter is a striated muscle that allows voluntary control over urination.

Cervix (or neck of the uterus) - The lower, narrow portion of the uterus where it joins with the top end of the vagina. It is cylindrical or conical in shape and protrudes through the upper anterior vaginal wall. Approximately half its length is visible with appropriate medical equipment; the remainder lies above the vagina beyond view.

Vaginal Mucus - A natural substance occurring within the vagina, particularly the cervix, that maintains a certain level of moisture at all times.

The volume, color, and consistency of vaginal mucus changes according to the period of the menstrual cycle. Both the chemical make-up and the physical consistency (viscosity) change during this time. A slippery, clear, egg white-like consistency usually indicates that the woman is ovulating. Relative dryness usually indicates an infertile point in the menstrual cycle.

Excessive or oddly coloured mucus may indicate various infections of the vagina, or pregnancy.

Uterus (or womb) - A major female hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ of most mammals including humans. One end, the cervix, opens into the vagina, while the other is connected to one or both fallopian tubes, depending on the species. It is within the uterus that the fetus develops during gestation, usually developing completely in placental mammals such as humans.

Endometrium (or Uterine Lining) - The inner membrane of the mammalian uterus. During the menstrual cycle, the endometrium grows to a thick, blood vessel-rich, glandular tissue layer as it undergoes cyclic regeneration. If there is inadequate stimulation of the lining, due to lack of hormones, the endometrium remains thin and inactive.

In humans, the cycle of building and shedding the endometrial lining lasts an average of 28 days. Its formation is sometimes affected by seasons, climate, stress, and other factors. The endometrium itself produces certain hormones at different points along the cycle. This affects other portions of the reproductive system.

Endometriosis is the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus.

Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of the human female genital tract.

Fallopian Tubes - Two very fine tubes lined with ciliated epithelia, leading from the ovaries of female mammals into the uterus. The egg passes through it in a woman's body.

Ovary - An egg-producing reproductive organ, often found in pairs as part of the vertebrate female reproductive system. Ovaries in females are homologous to testes in males, in that they are both gonads and endocrine glands.

Ovaries are oval shaped and, in the human, about the size of a Greek olive.

The ovaries aren't attached to the fallopian tubes but to the outer layer of the uterus via the ovarian ligaments. Usually each ovary takes turns releasing eggs every month; however, if there was a case where one ovary was absent or dysfunctional then the other ovary would continue providing eggs to be released.

Ovaries secrete both estrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian Follicle - The basic units of female reproductive biology, each of which is composed of roughly spherical aggregations of cells found in the ovary. They contain a single oocyte (aka ovum or egg). These structures are periodically initiated to grow and develop, culminating in ovulation of usually a single competent oocyte in humans. These eggs/ova are only developed once every menstrual cycle (e.g. once a month in humans).

Ovulation - The process in a female's menstrual cycle by which a mature ovarian follicle ruptures and discharges an ovum (egg). The time immediately surrounding ovulation is referred to as the ovulatory phase.

The process of ovulation is controlled by the hypothalamus of the brain and through the release of hormones. During the luteal (post-ovulatory) phase, the ovum will travel through the fallopian tubes toward the uterus. If fertilized by a sperm, it may perform implantation there 6–12 days later.

In humans, the few days near ovulation constitute the fertile phase. The average time of ovulation is the fourteenth day of an average length (twenty-eight day) menstrual cycle. It is normal for the day of ovulation to vary from the average, with ovulation anywhere between the tenth and nineteenth day being common.

Menstrual Cycle - A cycle of physiological changes that can occur in fertile females. Overt menstruation (where there is blood flow from the uterus through the vagina) occurs primarily in humans and close evolutionary relatives such as chimpanzees.

The menstrual cycle, under the control of the endocrine system, is necessary for reproduction. It is commonly divided into three phases: the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. The length of each phase varies from woman to woman and cycle to cycle, though the average menstrual cycle is 28 days. Menstrual cycles are counted from the first day of menstrual bleeding. Hormonal contraception interferes with the normal hormonal changes with the aim of preventing reproduction.

Under the influence of progesterone, the endometrium (uterine lining) changes to prepare for potential implantation of an embryo to establish a pregnancy. If implantation does not occur within approximately two weeks, the corpus luteum will involute, causing sharp drops in levels of both progesterone and estrogen. These hormone drops cause the uterus to shed its lining in a process termed menstruation.

In the menstrual cycle, changes occur in the female reproductive system as well as other systems (which lead to breast tenderness or mood changes, for example).

The end of a woman's reproductive phase is called the menopause, which commonly occurs somewhere between the ages of 45 and 55.

Hormone - A chemical released by a cell in one part of the body, that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. Only a small amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. Hormones in animals are often transported in the blood.

Estrogen - A group of steroid compounds, named for their importance in the estrous cycle, and functioning as the primary female sex hormone.

Like all steroid hormones, estrogens readily diffuse across the cell membrane.

The three major naturally occurring estrogens in women are estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Estradiol is the predominant form in nonpregnant females, estrone is produced during menopause, and estriol is the primary estrogen of pregnancy. In the body these are all produced from androgens through actions of enzymes.

Estradiol is produced from testosterone.

A range of synthetic and natural substances have been identified that also possess estrogenic activity:
a) Synthetic substances of this kind are known as xenoestrogens.
b) Plant products with estrogenic activity are called phytoestrogens.
c) Those produced by fungi are known as mycoestrogens.
Unlike estrogens produced by mammals, these substances are not necessarily steroids.

Estrogens are produced primarily by developing follicles in the ovaries, the corpus luteum, and the placenta. Luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulates the production of estrogen in the ovaries. Some estrogens are also produced in smaller amounts by other tissues such as the liver, adrenal glands, and the breasts. These secondary sources of estrogens are especially important in postmenopausal women. Fat cells also produce estrogen, potentially being the reason why underweight or overweight are risk factors for infertility.

Estradiol levels vary through the menstrual cycle, with levels highest just before ovulation.

While estrogens are present in both men and women, they are usually present at significantly higher levels in women of reproductive age. They promote the development of female secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts, and are also involved in the thickening of the endometrium and other aspects of regulating the menstrual cycle. Furthermore, there are several other structural changes induced by estrogen in addition to other functions [link].

About 80% of breast cancers, once established, rely on supplies of the hormone estrogen to grow: they are known as hormone-sensitive or hormone-receptor-positive cancers. In 2009, a case-control study of the eating habits of 2,018 women, revealed that women who consumed mushrooms had an approximately 50% lower incidence of breast cancer. Women who consumed mushrooms and green tea had a 90% lower incidence of breast cancer.
[missdelite: How can mushrooms help prevent breast cancer when they contain mycoestrogens?]

In humans and mice, estrogen promotes wound healing.

The labeling of estrogen-only products in the U.S. includes a boxed warning that unopposed estrogen (without progestagen) therapy increases the risk of endometrial cancer.

Some hair shampoos on the market include estrogens and placental extracts; others contain phytoestrogens. There are case reports of young children developing breasts after exposure to these shampoos. On September 9, 1993, the FDA determined that not all topically-applied hormone-containing drug products for OTC (over-the-counter) human use are generally recognized as safe and effective and are misbranded. An accompanying proposed rule deals with cosmetics, concluding that any use of natural estrogens in a cosmetic product makes the product an unapproved new drug and that any cosmetic using the term "hormone" in the text of its labeling or in its ingredient statement makes an implied drug claim, subjecting such a product to regulatory action.

In recent years it has been found that through waste water removal, estrogen has made its way into our ecosystems. Estrogen is among the wide range of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) due to the fact that they have high estrogenic potency. When this specific EDC makes its way into the environment it can cause severe male reproductive dysfunction to both humans and wildlife.

Breast - The breast is the upper ventral region of an animal’s torso, particularly that of mammals, including human beings. The breasts of a female primate’s body contain the mammary glands, which secrete milk used to feed infants. Both men and women develop breasts from the same embryological tissues. However, at puberty, female sex hormones, mainly estrogen, promote breast development which does not occur in men. As a result, women's' breasts become far more prominent than those of men.

Anatomically, breasts are modified sweat glands. Each breast has one nipple surrounded by the areola. The color of the areola varies from pink to dark brown and has several sebaceous glands. In women, the larger mammary glands within the breast produce the milk. They are distributed throughout the breast, with two-thirds of the tissue found within 30 mm of the base of the nipple.

About 75% of lymph from the breast travels to the ipsilateral axillary lymph nodes. The lymphatic drainage of the breasts is particularly relevant to oncology, since breast cancer is a common cancer and cancer cells can break away from a tumour and spread to other parts of the body through the lymph system by metastasis.

As breasts are mostly composed of adipose tissue, their size can change over time. This occurs for a number of reasons, most obviously when a girl grows during puberty and when a woman becomes pregnant. The breast size may also change if she gains (or loses) weight for any other reason.

In some cultures, breasts play an important part in human sexual behavior; they are also important female secondary sex characteristics. On sexual arousal breast size increases, venous patterns across the breasts become more visible, and nipples harden. Breasts are sensitive to touch as they have many nerve endings, and it is common to press or massage breasts with hands during sexual intercourse (as it is with other bodily areas representing feminine secondary sex characteristics as well). Oral stimulation of nipples and breasts is also common. Some women can achieve breast orgasms.

Factors that appear to be implicated in decreasing the risk of, or early diagnosis of breast cancer are regular breast examinations by health care professionals, regular mammograms, self examination of breasts, healthy diet, and exercise to decrease excess body fat. Healthy diet appears to reduce the risk of breast cancer, and includes limiting dietary fat, eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of nutrients, and dietary fibre such as are found in fruits and vegetables, and restricting intake of alcohol to a maximum of two drinks per day or less.

ALSO: Reproductive System / Gland / Progesterone / Breast Cancer / Hysterectomy / G-Spot



Hi, my name is missdelite and I'm the site administrator for Female Friendlee, a blog I've started to organize information about female health, specifically: vaginal, hormonal and reproductive. I've come across vast quantities of info while doing research in an attempt to understand what my body is trying to tell me, but unfortunately, a lot of this info is contradictory and confusing. This blog is my attempt to make sense of it all.

I'm by no means an expert on female health, but I - like every other woman - have firsthand knowledge of it. We all know what symptoms look, smell and feel like, but a lot of us don't know why they happen the way they do. Please keep in mind that the info I present is that which makes the most sense to me and I'll try my best to highlight passages I feel are important. It's likely that I - or the writers I feature - may not have all the answers you're looking for. If there's anything I've learned through the course of my exploration of this topic, it's that every body is unique, and that what works for one may not necessarily work for another. The best you can do is consider a variety of opinions and adopt the ones that make the most sense to you.

Also, my focus will be on the influences of diet, exercise (or lack thereof), stress, hours of sleep and other lifestyle factors on female health. Any mention of medications - over the counter or prescriptive - will be fleeting at best as I've no experience in this area.

So, it's my hope this blog will help me - and others - understand our bodies better. If you're experiencing symptoms and nothing you've tried so far appears to be helping, don't get discouraged. Sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to finally discover what works for you and I'm hoping I can help make this endeavour easier. Remember: Knowledge is power and we're all free to use it to our benefit.

Thanks for stopping by,