Cervical Polyps can be defined as finger-like growths arising from the neck of the womb (cervix), the part that connects the uterus to the vagina.They may arise from the surface of the cervix or the cervical canal. The term ” growth” should not be daunting as they rarely are malignant.
What causes cervical polyps?
The reasons are not entirely clear but it is likely to be:
-Hormonal changes (an excess of estrogen, the female hormone)
– Chronic inflammation of the cervix
– Clogging of blood vessels in the cervix
Which women are likely to have cervical polyps?
-These are women in the reproductive age group
– Women who are typically in their 40s and 50s who have borne children
– They rarely occur in young girls who haven’t started with their menstrual cycles.
What are the common symptoms associated with cervical polyps?
-Irregular spotting throughout the cycle
– Spotting or bleeding after intercourse( postcoital bleeding)
– Increased yellowish or whitish discharge from the vagina
– They may not have any associated symptoms and may be noticed by a gynecologist during a routine examination or while doing a Pap’s smear.
How are cervical polyps diagnosed?
They are easy to diagnose on a pelvic examination. They appear like finger-like growths from the cervix- cherry red or purplish in colour with a thin or a thick stalk.
Sometimes they may be infected as well. They are mostly solitary but occasionally they may be multiple too.
How are cervical polyps treated?
– They may require no treatment
– If they cause symptoms they require treatment like the removal of polyps using simple techniques, in the office or the operation theatre. The procedure may or may not require anaesthesia.
– The base of the polyp may bleed and may require cauterisation to stop the bleeding.
– The removed polyps must be sent for biopsy to rule out the rare chances of malignancy.
What are the side effects following their removal (polypectomy)?
The patients may experience some cramping and some spotting for a few days post procedure.
What are the outcomes following cervical polyps surgery?
These polyps generally do not grow back but occasionally more polyps may grow.
One must get routine pelvic examinations done.
Paps smears must also be done regularly as recommended by your doctor.