Cervical Polyps

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Cervical Polypectomy explained in this video

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Cervical polyps refer to cherry-red or purple/red growths occurring on the cervix, which is a tube like channel connecting the uterus and the vagina. The polyps can also be grayish white and often vary in size, resembling bulbs forming from thin stems.

Usually cervical polyps are not cancerous (benign) and may occur as one or in groups. Polyps are typically small, from about one to two centimeters long. Occasionally, cancerous conditions may also exhibit similar polyps, which should be removed prior to being examined for cancer.

The exact cause of cervical polyps is still not properly understood. However, they may be linked to the inflammation of the cervix or an abnormal response to the estrogen hormone.

Cervical polyps are common, particularly in women over the age of 20 with one child at least. Cervical polyps do not typically occur in young girls who have not started menstruating.

Cervical polyps can be classified into two categories:

  • Extocervical polyps. These develop from the surface of the outer cell layer of the cervix. This type typically occurs in postmenopausal women.
  • Edocervical polyps. These develop inside the cervical canal from the cervical glands. Usually the cervical polyps women have are of this kind, and typically occurs in premenopausal women.

Signs and symptoms

Cervical polyps may not result in any symptoms or signs; however, a person may experience the following:

  • Bleeding between period
  • Foul-smelling discharge, in case of an infection
  • Heavier bleeding than usual during periods
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse

Medical emergenciesWhen to seek medical attention

If a person experiences bleeding after intercourse, vaginal discharge or bleeding between periods, she should see a doctor as soon as possible.


Cervical polyps can be surgically removed usually in the doctor’s office. An instrument called a polyp forceps will be used to grasp the polyp stem and carefully plucking the polyp out. Bleeding may be limited and brief.

You can take over-the-counter mild medications for pain such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce cramping and discomfort during the procedure and after. Standard 1st aid courses are available online.

The polyp(s) is then sent to the laboratory for an examination.

If the polyps show any signs of infection, you may be prescribed to take antibiotics. In case of cancerous polyps, treatment will normally depend on the type and extent of cancer.

Larger polyps and their stems are usually broad and have to be removed in the operating room, where a local anesthesia will be administered. It is possible for polyps to grow in the future again, and it is not common for them to grow form the same sites as before. Regular pelvic exams are required to help identify and treat the polyps before symptoms occur.


See your doctor for a regular pelvic exam and Pap test. Direct examination is preferred to find out if a woman has any cervical polyps.

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