Cervical Polyps – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment
What are cervical polyps?
Cervical polyps are finger-like growths that appear on the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects with the vagina. Cervical polyps are usually not cancerous and can occur alone or in groups. Usually, they do not cause any symptoms or problems.
Cervical polyps are common. They mostly occur in women over age 20, who have had children. Cervical polyps rarely occur in young women who have not started having their menstruation (periods).
What causes cervical polyps?
What causes cervical polyps is not known to doctors. Doctors think they may occur due to:
- An abnormal response to increased levels of the female hormone estrogen
- Chronic inflammation
- Clogged blood vessels in the cervix
What are the symptoms of cervical polyps?
Cervical polyps do not always cause symptoms. When symptoms appear, they may include:
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Vaginal bleeding after douching or intercourse
- Leukorrhea (white or yellow mucus)
How are cervical polyps diagnosed?
The doctor will perform a pelvic exam and may find smooth, red or purple fingerlike growths on the cervix. If the doctor suspects polyps, he/she may perform a cervical biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes, the biopsy may show abnormal, precancerous, or cancer cells in a polyp.
How are cervical polyps treated?
A doctor normally can remove polyps with a simple, outpatient procedure. The may remove smaller polyps with gentle twisting. He/she may use electrocautery to remove large polyps. Usually, the removed polyps will be sent to a lab for further tests.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.