5 Warning Signs Of Cervical Polyps, And Why They Should Be Removed

Date May 14, 2018

Cervical polyps: What are they?

Cervical polyps are growths on the cervix which are usually shaped like a finger or bulb. The polyps vary in color and shape, and they often cause no symptoms. Women aged older than 20, especially those who have given birth to one or more children, are more likely to have polyps on the cervix than other women are. Many women have cervical polyps, and these growths are rarely malignant (cancerous). But there's a chance that cancer may develop from a cervical polyp, that's why it's vitally important to have regular pelvic exams and Pap tests, and also have any symptoms which may be caused by polyps checked by a gynecologist.

READ ALSO: 6 Facts About Pap Test, A Screening Tool Used To Detect Cervical Cancer

Symptoms of cervical polyps

In some cases, cervical polyps don't produce symptoms, especially if they are small.

But if symptoms are present, they may include the following:

  • unusually heavy periods;
  • bleeding or spotting after intercourse;
  • bleeding or spotting between periods;
  • bleeding or spotting after menopause;
  • white or yellow discharge which may be odorous.

The symptoms listed above may be caused by other conditions, not just cervical polyps. But it's important to report any such symptoms to your gynecologist. To detect symptomless polyps, don't skip your annual pelvic exams.

READ ALSO: Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Causes, Emergency Symptoms, And How To Treat It

What causes cervical polyps?

It's not exactly clear why some women develop cervical polyps. There are, however, a few factors associated with these growths. They include the following:

  • high levels of estrogen, either the hormone produced in your body or estrogen-like substances in food and environment;
  • cervical infections, including HPV;
  • clogged blood vessels near the cervix.

How are cervical polyps treated?

Even though the chances of a cervical polyp being cancerous are small, it's recommended to remove any such growths. Removal process depends on the size of the polyp. Your gynecologist can remove small polyps simply by twisting them off. Larger polyps are removed in a procedure called electrocautery with the use of an electrically heated needle.

The polyp will likely be sent to a lab to check it for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells.

The removal procedure itself may be slightly painful, and you may experience cramps shortly after the polyp (or polyps) is removed and have bleeding or spotting for a few days afterwards.

Source: HealthLine, Harvard Health, WebMD

READ ALSO: 6 Ways That May Help Avoid Cervical Cancer: From Regular Pap Tests To Not Smoking

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.