What are cervical polyps?
The cervix is an incredible organ.
It acts as a gateway between the vagina and the uterus, allows sperm to enter or keep sperm out, allow blood to flow through your period, and help protect the uterus from infection, especially during pregnancy. Along with many other incredible skills.
The cervix is shaped like a donut and changes throughout your menstrual cycle and pregnancy mucus to help you keep track of these changes.
However, like any organ, the health of the cervix is prone to diseases such as cervical cancer, on friable cervixand cervical polyps.
What are cervical polyps?
Polyps are small clumps of cells that gather together to form onion-like clumps. They are typically benign or non-cancerous and occur roughly 2-5% of people with a womb.
Polyps tend to be red, purple, or off-white. People with polyps may only have one or more.
There are two main types of cervical polyps, endocervical and ectocervical. Most common are endocervical polyps that grow from the cervical glands in the endocervix or the opening of the uterus. These are most common in people who have not yet met menopause. Ectocervical polyps, on the other hand, grow from the cervical cells of the outer surface layer around the ectocervix, where the cervix meets the vagina.
They’re usually found during a routine pelvic exam or pelvic exam.
The greatest risk for cervical polyps is that they can resemble cancerous lumps. Once you’ve removed them, your provider will usually have a biopsy done. Just 0.2% -1.5% of cases are malignant and indicate a disease or cancer. These are most common in people who are postmenopausal.
Who gets cervical polyps?
While anyone with a cervix can develop cervical polyps, there are certain risk factors that can increase a person’s chance.
Cervical polyps are more common in people over the age of twenty and in people with multiple pregnancies.
People with a history of cervical polyps have a greater chance of developing more, although they don’t necessarily grow back in the same place. about one of eight People who have had cervical polyps removed will recur.
What causes cervical polyps?
Knowing the exact cause of cervical polyps is difficult, but there are certainly some factors that can contribute to their development.
- People with chronic inflammation, especially in the cervical area.
- Blocked blood vessels in the cervix.
- Cervical infection and people with chronic yeast infections.
- Some researchers believe that polyps can be caused by a hormonal imbalance or a change that results in a person’s estrogen levels being turned off. Like an estrogen dip after menopause.
- People with a past or present Sexually Transmitted Disease to like Herpes or HPV.
What are the symptoms of cervical polyps?
Often times, someone with cervical polyps will have little to no symptoms or pain. Even if they show symptoms, they are often non-specific and need further investigation for diagnosis.
Here are some common symptoms of cervical polyps:
- Bleeding afterwards penetration with a penis or sex toy.
- A heavier than normal period with possible bleeding or spotting between periods.
- If there is an infection, someone can have it abnormal discharge. This discharge can be yellow or white and does not smell.
Diagnosis and treatment of cervical polyps
If you’re showing symptoms of cervical polyps, or if your doctor suspects you might have them, they need to diagnose you first. This is usually done with a pelvic exam along with an abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound. In some cases, a provider can do a simple procedure called a HysteroscopyThis enables them to look inside your uterus through some sort of telescopic device that shows images of your uterus on a screen.
Often times, cervical polyps do not require treatment. Sometimes they even fall off on their own, especially during your period or through penetrative sex.
Your provider may not be able to remove them unless they are very large, bleeding, or look unusual. They must also be removed if they suspect an infection or cancer cells.
Polyps of the cervix can cause problems if they grow large enough to block the passage from the cervix to the vagina. Can also become infected or infected, making them uncomfortable or making abnormal bleeding worse.
If your doctor finds cervical polyps during an exam, most likely there is nothing to worry about. If you need to remove them, it is usually done using a simple in-office procedure. Your doctor may need to cauterize the polyp site to prevent recurrence and bleeding.
If you have large polyps, or if someone has a lot of them, removal may require surgery under general anesthesia.
Ask your doctor if you suspect you have cervical polyps or if you experience any of the symptoms listed above.