What are they?
They are small and elongated tumors that grow in the cervix . The cervix is the narrow channel in the lower part of the uterus that extends into the vagina, and they are fragile structures that grow from stems rooted in the surface of the cervix or inside the cervical canal.
Cervical polyps occur in approximately 4% of women of reproductive age. They are more common in women between 40 and 50 who have had more than one child and almost never occur in young women before the onset of menstruation.
Similarly, they are also common during pregnancy , this can be caused by an increase in the hormone estrogen.
Cervical polyps are usually benign (non-cancerous), and cervical cancer is rare. Cervical cancer occurs in only 1% of women of reproductive age around 12,000 new cases per year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Polyps in the cervix may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, any of the following symptoms may occur:
- Vaginal discharge of white or yellow mucus (leucorrhea).
- Spotting or vaginal bleeding: after intercourse (postcoital), between periods (inter-menstrual), after douching, after menopause (post-menopausal), or in abnormally heavy periods (menorrhagia)
Some of these symptoms may also be signs of cancer. In rare cases, polyps represent an early stage of cervical cancer. Eliminating them helps reduce this risk.
It is not completely understood why cervical polyps are produced. Your training may be linked to:
- Increase in levels of estrogen (female sex hormone).
- Chronic inflammation in the cervix, vagina or uterus.
- Clogged blood vessels.
- High levels of estrogen
Estrogen levels fluctuate naturally throughout a woman’s life. The most common times are during menstrual cycles, pregnancies, and in the months leading up to menopause.
For example, estrogen levels can reach 100 times the normal range during pregnancy.
An inflamed cervix appears red, irritated or eroded. Some of the known causes of cervical inflammation include:
- Bacterial infection
- Cuminata condyloma virus (warts).
- Human papilloma virus (HPV).
- Fungal infections
- Pregnancy, miscarriage, or abortion.
- Hormonal changes.
HPV infection is also a known cause of cervical cancer. Pelvic exams and regular Pap tests are an important precaution for women of any age.
The Pap test is done by scraping a small amount of tissue from the cervix, which is sent to a lab. The test checks the infection and the abnormal cells.
Polyps are easy to see on a routine pelvic exam. The doctor will see soft, fingerlike growths on the cervix that appear red or purple.
The biopsies (tissue samples) of the polyps are taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results usually show benign polyp cells.
In rare cases, there may be abnormal cells or neoplastic changes (precancerous growth patterns).
The removal of cervical polyps is a simple procedure that is performed in the doctor’s office. No medication is needed for pain, and there are several ways to eliminate cervical polyps:
- Twisting the polyp outside at the base.
- Tie surgical thread around the base of the polyp and cut away.
- Using ring forceps to remove the polyp.
The methods used to destroy the base of the polyp, and prevent regrowth, include:
- Liquid nitrogen
- Electrocautery ablation (uses an electrically heated needle).
- Laser surgery
You may feel brief and mild pain during the extraction and mild to moderate cramping for a few hours afterwards. A spot of blood from the vagina can be produced for one or two days after the elimination.
Recovery and Prevention
The removal of polyps is a simple, safe and non-invasive procedure. However, if you ever have polyps, there is a greater risk of developing them again.
Regular pelvic exams can find any growth early in their development.
Since some infections are linked to cervical polyps, some simple tips can help reduce your risk.
Use cotton underwear, allows good air circulation, this avoids excess heat and humidity, which prevents infections. Also, if you have a partner, it is advisable to use a condom during intercourse.