What precisely is a friable cervix?
When you don't know what you are doing cervix is, often referred to as a donut, you'll be amazed at the wonders this tiny organ is capable of.
The cervix is the gateway from the vagina to the uterus. It helps to cleanse and take care of yours Vaginal flora by secretion Cervical mucus, keeps bacteria and pathogens out of your uterus, aids in conception by letting sperm pass through, letting out period blood and being able to provide for stimulation mind-blowing orgasms.
As with any other part of the body, things can go wrong, as in the case of a crumbly cervix.
What is a friable cervix?
The brittle world literally means to collapse easily. Not exactly one word you want to describe your cervix. But that is exactly what happens when someone suffers from this disease.
When the cervix is friable, the cervical tissue is more sensitive than usual, which can cause it to tear and bleed easily when touched.
Since the vagina may have a lot of friction, you can see that this disease can be an uncomfortable, often painful, problem.
What are the symptoms of a friable cervix?
Knowing what symptoms to look out for can help determine whether or not you may have a friable cervix and how to tell your doctor.
- Complaints from penetration.
- Painful intercourse, often called Dyspareunia.
- Bleeding or staining during intercourse.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge.
- Recognize between periods.
- Vaginal itching, burning and irritation.
It's also possible not to have symptoms and still have a crumbly cervix.
What causes a friable cervix?
This uncomfortable condition is typically a symptom of an underlying condition.
Here is a comprehensive, but not definitive, list of the causes of a crumbly cervix.
- Sexually transmitted infections: For sure STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes cervicalis, trichomoniasis (parasite), can cause inflammation or irritation of the cervix.
- Vaginal atrophy: When the body has less estrogen it can lead to thinning, dehydration, and inflammation of the vagina.
- Menopause: When the body goes through menopauseHormonal changes can lead to vaginal and cervical imbalances.
- Hormonal imbalances: A decrease in estrogen due to other factors includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, a hysterectomy or removal of the reproductive organs.
- Medication: Some prescription drugs and cancer treatments.
- Cervical ectropion: Sometimes known as cervical erosion.
- Cervical polyps: Small elongated tumors that grow on the cervix and are typically benign, also known as non-cancerous.
- Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: An abnormal growth of cervical cells, typically caused by the Human papillomavirus (HPV)and can become cancerous if left untreated.
- Hormone replacement therapyand hormonal contraception.
- Hypothyroidism: A condition that causes the thyroid to be underactive.
- Coagulation disorders: Conditions like hemophilia and Von Willebrand disease that affect the body's ability to control blood clotting.
- Cirrhosis of the liver.
- Intrauterine devices or IUDs.
- Pregnancy complications.
- Vaginal dysbiosis: An imbalance between unhealthy bacteria and yeast and good bacteria.
- Food sensitivity: Many food sensitivities can cause inflammation even in the cervix.
- Deregulated blood sugar and high insulin levels.
How is a friable cervix diagnosed?
The first thing a provider will likely do if they suspect a friable cervix is to give a Pap smear, which collects cervical cells, to test for abnormalities.
Next, your provider may do a colposcopy. A procedure similar to a Pap smear that allows your provider to do an in-depth examination of your cervix. During the procedure, they can take a sample for a biopsy to rule out cancer.
Since many cases of the friable cervix result from an STI, your provider will most likely test you and ask about your sexual history.
One of the next steps your provider will take is to test your hormone levels. Remember, a friable cervix is often caused by hormonal imbalance.
How to treat a friable cervix
Since a friable cervix is usually a symptom of an underlying condition, treatment will vary based on the root cause.
- Change medication: Your provider may recommend switching any medications that can cause a crumbly cervix.
- Antifungal drugs: To treat a possible fungal infection.
- Antibiotics: Especially in the case of an STI or other bacterial infection.
- Remove polyps: If there are any.
- Hormone replacement therapy: If a friable cervix developed during menopause, your doctor may recommend HRT.
- Time: Especially in the case of pregnancy.
- Silver nitrate: A salt compound used to cauterize blood vessels.
- Holistic treatments: Providers such as a naturopathic doctor will urge you to make changes in diet and provide you with a protocol of vitamin and mineral supplements.
- Herbal Treatments: Prescribed by a licensed professional.
- Prevention: Prevent STIs by using condoms and discussing your STI status with new partners.
Often times, a crumbly cervix will clear up on its own without further treatment.
Report any signs of a fragile cervix to your provider so they can put you and your cervix on the path to recovery!
Natasha's passion for reproductive health began at the age of fourteen when she was present at the birth of her youngest sister. Her incredible experiences as a birthing doula gave her insights into the magical realm of childbirth, pregnancy and everything in between. Your role as an obstetrician is her way of serving as an activist. She uses writing as an important educational tool to bring about changes in our view of reproductive health as a whole.