What is cervical polyps?

Cervical polyps: Overview

Cervical polyps are growths in the cervical canal. This is the passage between your uterus and your vagina.

These polyps are almost never cancer. Most of the time, the cause is not known.

You may have abnormal vaginal bleeding, or you may bleed after sex. Some people may have a yellow or white discharge.

Your doctor may remove a cervical polyp. The doctor will then test it to make sure it isn't cancer.

What are the symptoms of cervical polyps?

Polyps often occur without symptoms. But some people may have symptoms of abnormal vaginal bleeding. This can include heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding between periods or after sex, and bleeding after menopause

And in some cases, cervical polyps may be inflamed and rarely can become infected, causing vaginal discharge of yellow or white mucus.

How are cervical polyps treated?

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 are causing symptoms that bother you, 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.

How are cervical polyps diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made when a polyp is found in your cervix. Most cervical polyps are found during a pelvic exam. Your doctor may ask about any symptoms you're having, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding. The doctor may also send the polyp for testing.

How can you care for cervical polyps?

  • If you have cramps, take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • Talk to your doctor about having Pap tests on a regular schedule.
  • If your doctor removes a polyp, you may bleed or spot a little for a few days. Use pads. Don't use tampons.

What causes cervical polyps?

The cause of cervical polyps is not entirely understood. They may result from infection. They may 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.

What are cervical polyps?

Cervical polyps are growths in the cervical canal. This is the passage between your uterus and your vagina. Almost all cervical polyps are noncancerous (benign).

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.

Cervical polyps: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding.
  • You have new or worse pain in your belly or pelvis.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • You do not get better as expected.

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