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Cervical Polyps

What are cervical polyps?

Cervical polyps are a growth of tissue on the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Women of any age may have cervical polyps.

Polyps are very rarely cancer, and they seldom develop into cancer of the cervix. However, your healthcare provider can be sure that a polyp is a benign and not cancer only by removing it and looking at the tissue in the lab.

How do they occur?

Doctors do not know why some women develop polyps. They are not related to sexually transmitted diseases and are very rarely related to cancer.

What are the symptoms?

Cervical polyps often do not cause any symptoms. You usually cannot feel or see them. Sometimes they may cause bleeding between menstrual periods, especially after sex.

How are they diagnosed?

Most cervical polyps are discovered during a pelvic exam or with tests looking for causes of unusual bleeding.

What is the treatment?

Most polyps are removed. Your healthcare provider will remove the polyp with a small sharp instrument. Your provider may scrape the base of the polyp to make sure the entire polyp is removed. A type of paste may be put on the cervix to control any bleeding. The tissue removed will be sent to a lab for tests to make sure it is not cancerous. This procedure can usually be done in your provider's office.

How long will the effects last?

If the polyp is not removed:

  • It may keep growing.
  • It may cause bleeding between menstrual periods or after sex.
  • It may be harder for you to get pregnant.

How can I take care of myself?

After treatment for cervical polyps, you should keep having a pelvic exam every year. Then, if you develop another polyp, your healthcare provider can take care of it.

Tell your provider if you have bleeding after sex.

How can I prevent cervical polyps?

There is no known way to prevent polyps.

Disclaimer: This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

HIA File wome5214.htm Release 13/2010

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