CERVICAL POLYPS – Causes, Clinical Manifestations, Diagnostic Evaluations and Management

CERVICAL POLYPS – Causes, Clinical Manifestations, Diagnostic Evaluations and Management 

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CERVICAL POLYPS – Causes, Clinical Manifestations, Diagnostic Evaluations and Management

Cervical polyps are smooth, red, finger-shaped growths in the passage extending from the uterus to the vagina (cervical canal). Cervical polyps are very common. They can cause irregular menstrual bleeding but often show no symptoms. They occur most often during pregnancy (because of hormonal changes). In some cases, cervical polyps can block the cervix and cause problems getting pregnant. Cervical polyps are non-cancerous.


CAUSES OF CERVICAL POLYPS


The cause of cervical polyps is not entirely understood. They may result from infection. They can also result from long-term (chronic) inflammation, an abnormal response to an increase in estrogen levels, or congestion of blood vessels in the cervical canal. Cervical polyps most often occur in women older than 20 who have had severe pregnancies.

 

CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS


Small polyps may not produce symptoms. Large polyps often produce symptoms. When symptoms are present, the most common symptoms are: bleeding with sexual intercourse, bleeding between periods, bleeding after douching, abnormal heavy bleeding during menstrual cycle (menorrhagia), bleeding after menopause, and watery, bloody discharge from vagina.

 

DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATIONS

Most cervical polyps are first discovered during a routine pelvic exam as red or purple projections from the cervical canal. Usually only a single polyp develops, though sometimes two or three are found during an exam. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a cervical biopsy.

 

MANAGEMENT

Polyps do not need to be removed unless they bleed, are very large, or have an unusual appearance. Large polyps can be removed during a surgical procedure. The most common treatment is removal of the polyp during a pelvic exam. This can be done simply by gently twisting the polyp, tying it tightly at the base, or removing it with special ring forceps. The remaining base of the polyp can then be removed using a laser. A solution is applied to the base of the polyp to stop any bleeding. An antibiotic may be prescribed to treat infection.