Polyp is the medical and technical term used to describe a benign growth protruding from any mucus membrane in the human body. Polyps can emerge from one’s nose and sinuses (called as the nasal polyps), in the colon, on the stomach, in the ear. When they grow from the nose, they are often brought about by a chronic inflammation caused by an allergy. But the one we’re most interested in are those polyps that grow in the woman’s cervix or the neck of the women’s womb where the cause for such growth remains unknown.
The Cervical Polyp
About 2 to 5 percent of the female population have cervical polyps. At the woman’s cervix, polyps are almost always benign or non-cancerous. This is regardless of whether they emerge from the lining of the uterus itself or from the cervix, in which case some bleeding may be observed after sexual intercourse.
The good news about polyps is that they can be removed easily by your medical doctor or even by your GP when the polyps are visible and still small.
Other polyps like those located in the woman’s womb will have to be removed surgically with the use of a general anesthetic. Also, in these cases, the tissue is normally sent for microscopic analysis to ensure the growth is not malignant.
The Causes of Cervical Polyps
Why women get cervical polyps still remains a big question, but it is certain that a cervical polyp will occur with any of the following:
The woman may be having an abnormal reaction to abnormally high levels of the female hormone known as estrogen
She may have been exposed to chronic inflammation
She may be suffering from clogged blood vessels in her cervix
Having cervical polyps is not an unusual occurrence in women, especially for those who are more than 20 years old and have been pregnant. On the other hand, cervical polyps are not common among young women who have not had their menstruation yet. And usually women have one polyp growth only, although others may have a couple or more.
A great percentage of these cervical polyps do not cause any symptoms. Some polyps however may bleed after sexual intercourse or between menstrual periods. These polyps normally appear reddish pink and can be half inch in size. When they become infected, the woman will notice a puslike discharge from her vagina.
The Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Polyps
A doctor will be able to detect a cervical polyp after a pelvic examination. When a polyp causes discharge and bleeding, they can be removed during this pelvic examination without the need for an anesthetic. In cases when bleeding occurs after the removal of the polyp, a silver nitrate may be applied to the affected area to stop the bleeding.
When the bleeding and the discharge continues even after the removal of the polyp,
a sample of the tissue that lines the uterus will be examined to rule out endometrial cancer and a Pap test or a cervical cytology will be done to rule out cancer of the cervix.