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What are Cervical Polyps?

Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments for Cervical Polyps

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Updated January 16, 2008

Cervical polyps are small, finger-like, projections that grow from the surface of the cervix or the endocervical canal. These fragile growths hang from a stalk, pushing though the cervical os. While the cause of cervical polyps is not clear, there may be an association with chronic cervical inflammation, clogged cervical blood vessels, or an abnormal response to increased levels of estrogen.

Cervical polyps almost never occur prior to the onset of menstruation at menarche and are seen in approximately 4% of women of reproductive age. They are most common in women in their 40s and 50s who have who have more than one child. Additionally, cervical polyps are common during early pregnancy, presumably due to higher levels of circulating hormones. In most cases, only one cervical polyp is present. However, occasionally two or three cervical polyps may be present.

The symptoms of cervical polyps include post coital bleeding, bleeding after vaginal douching, intermenstrual bleeding, menorrhagia, postmenopausal bleeding, and leukorrhea. Cervical polyps may also be asymptomatic, causing no symptoms at all.

Diagnosing cervical polyps is relatively simple since they are usually easy for the doctor to see during a pelvic exam. Cervical polyps appear smooth, with a red or purple color, and protrude from the cervical canal.

Fortunately, your doctor can easily remove any cervical polyps you may develop by simply twisting it or tying surgical string around the base of the polyp and cutting it off. The remaining base of the cervical polyp is removed using electrocautery or laser surgery.

Source:

Cervical Polyps; Medline Plus, NIH, NLM; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001494.htm; accessed 12/12/07.

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