Cervical polyps are common – in most cases they occur in women after 20 (mainly in women who already experienced deliveries). Cervical polyp is a smooth finger-like growth in the cervix. Color of polyp could be red or reddish-purple or cherry-red or grayish-white. The majority of women have only one cervical polyp but sometimes doctors could discover 2-3 polyps in cervical canal. Most cervical polyps are usually not cancerous (benign) and can appear alone or in groups. Size of polyps could range from 5 mm to 2 cm long – usually they have thin stems.
The exact clear causes of cervical polyps are not entirely understood but scientists noted that usually polyps appear during hyperestrogenia (increased levels of estrogen) combined with abnormal hypersensitive responses to increased levels of female hormone or during/after chronic cervical inflammations or in cervix with clogged blood vessels.
Most polyps should be removed and removed tissue should be evaluated in the laboratory for rare signs of cancer.
Cervical polyps – types
Medical experts recognize two types of cervical polyp:
Endocervical polyps (most common) – develop from cervical glands inside the cervical canal – typical for premenopausal women;
Ectocervical polyps – develop from the external surface layer cells of the cervix – typical for postmenopausal women.
Cervical polyps – symptoms
Sometimes cervical polyps don’t trigger any visible symptoms but in most cases women mention typical symptoms:
Vaginal discharge (white or yellow mucus) which can have unpleasant smell if polyp was infected;
Vaginal bleeding after intercourse or after douching;
Unexpected brown discharge after menopause.
Cervical polyps – diagnosis
Polyp diagnosis is simple because doctor easily can see it during routine pelvic exam or while getting Pap test.
After polypectomy (polyp removal) the microscopic tests should be done in the laboratory – cells evaluation. Numbers of abnormal, precancerous or cancerous cells are usually counted.
Cervical polyps – treatment
Cervical polyp should be removed surgically – the procedure called “polypectomy”. It is a simple operation which can be done in outpatient clinic. Small polyps can be just removed with gentle twisting or with special forceps. Electrocautery could be needed for larger polyps.
Large polyps and polyp stems that are very broad usually need to be removed in special operating room and the operation should be schedules in advance.
Cervical polyps – prognosis
Most polyps are benign (not cancerous) and can be easily removed without any complications. Prognosis is absolutely positive.
Rare some cervical cancers could appear as a polyp with future transformation into cancer. Sometimes certain uterine polyps could be associated with uterine cancer.
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.