What are cervical polyps?

Cervical polyps are common growths that form in the uterine cervix. The exact reason why polyps form is not understood, but their development may be related to increased levels of estrogen. Polyps may also develop as the result of chronic inflammation in the cervical region or congestion in the cervical blood vessels. The size of the polyps varies, and some women may have multiple polyps. Cervical polyps most often occur in women over age 20 and are rare in premenstrual girls.

Cervical Problems Spotlight

Some women with cervical polyps have no symptoms at all, while others may have abnormal bleeding during menstruation, after sexual intercourse, or following vaginal douching. The large majority of polyps are benign (not cancerous). In rare cases, though, polyps may contain precancerous or cancerous cells.

It is rare for cervical polyps to result in serious complications. However, if vaginal bleeding becomes severe, the significant loss of blood could lead to shock, which could require emergency hospitalization and blood transfusions. Symptoms of significant blood loss include light-headedness, dizziness, fainting, or difficulty breathing.

The treatment of cervical polyps is removal, which can be performed in a relatively minor office procedure.

Cervical polyps are rarely a serious condition, but severe vaginal bleeding can lead to significant blood loss. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, experience bleeding that will not stop, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, pale skin, or fainting.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for cervical polyps but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of cervical polyps?

Cervical polyps accompany irritation and inflammation of the cervix that can result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.... Read more about cervical polypssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes cervical polyps?

The exact cause of cervical polyps is not known. It has been suggested that cervical polyps are caused by an unusual response to increased amounts of estrogen in the lower uterine wall. Cervical inflammation that occurs for a period of time and congestion of the blood vessels in the cervix are also possible causes of cervical polyps.... Read more about cervical polypscauses

TREATMENTS

How are cervical polyps treated?

Treatment for cervical polyps begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine whether you have cervical polyps, your health care provider will ask you to undergo a pelvic examination (colposcopy).... Read more about cervical polypstreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.