A cervical polyp is a benign tumor that is found on the surface of the cervical canal. They can cause irregular menstrual bleeding, but more often they show no symptoms. The cause of this type of cancer is not fully understood by the experts. It may result from an infection or from a long term or chronic inflammation, an abnormal response to an increase in the estrogen levels, and in the congestion of blood vessels in the cervical canal.
The diagnosis of cervical polyps is relatively easy, since they can be easily seen by a physician. They appear to be smooth stalks with a red or purple color and they protrude from the cervical canal.
The Common Symptoms
Normally, there would be no symptoms for cervical polyps but at times this disease will be characterized by:
* Abnormal vaginal bleeding that occurs between menstrual periods, after menopause, after sexual intercourse, and after douching.
* Cervical polyps may be inflamed but they rarely become infected
* Abnormally heavy periods or menorrhagia
* White or yellow mucus discharge, often called leucorrhea
* There are only a few known symptoms of this infection and sometimes these are even unnoticeable. A woman needs to have an annual check up to evaluate her reproductive health.
Risk Factors and Preventive Measures
* The risk factor of having cervical polyps increases in women with diabetes mellitus and recurrent vaginitis and cervicitis. Cervical polyps never really occur before the onset of menstruation. It is usually seen in women of reproductive age. The most susceptible to the disease are women aged 40 to 50 years old. It is also said that cervical polyps can be found on incidences that trigger the production of hormones. Pregnant women have higher risks due to the changes in the hormone levels, possibly from the increased production of circulating hormones too.
* There are measures that can help prevent the infection and these are:
* Wear cotton underpants or panty hose with a cotton crotch. This helps prevent the accumulation of excess heat and moisture. Heat and moisture makes a woman susceptible to vaginal and cervical infections.
* Have your partner wear a condom every intercourse. This minimizes the risk of a sexually transmitted infection.
Treating Cervical Polyps
* Through a simple operation, cervical polyps can be removed. The polyp will be twisted and gently removed during the operation. In one method, a surgical string is attached around the base and the shoot is cut off. The base will be removed through electrocautery or laser treatment. Following the operation, patients are advised to take in antibiotics even if there are no signs of infection. Some cervical polyps are not necessarily cancerous but they are still sent to the laboratory for further analysis. Also, it is fairly impossible for the polyps to grow back but there are incidences of recurrence.