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Cervical polyps are smooth, red, finger-shaped growths in the cervix, the passage between the uterus and the vagina.
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.
The most common symptom a woman will notice is abnormal vaginal bleeding that occurs:
Cervical polyps may be inflamed and rarely can become infected, causing vaginal discharge of yellow or white mucus. Polyps often occur without symptoms.
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 forceps. A solution is applied to the base of the polyp to stop any bleeding.
Polyps do not need to be removed unless they bleed, are very large, or have an unusual appearance.
Almost all cervical polyps are noncancerous (benign). Your doctor may decide to send the polyp to the lab to have it tested, but testing is not always needed.
Cervical polyps most often occur in women older than 20 who have had several pregnancies. Most cervical polyps are first discovered during a pelvic exam. Usually only a single polyp develops, though sometimes two or three are found during an exam.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah A. Marshall, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKevin C. Kiley, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMarch 28, 2018
Current as of:
March 28, 2018
Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kevin C. Kiley, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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