What is cervical polyp?
A polyp formation is a mass of tissue projecting out due to overgrowth. The cervical polyp develop in the uterine cervix. The two most common types of polyps are developed, they are cervical or Ectocervical polyps and endocervical polyps.
Ectocervical polyps or cervical polyps are developed on the exterior of the cervix, whereas in the interior, endocervical polyps are developed.
The polyps are attached with mucous membrane by the stalk. The blood supply is carried out to the polyps through this stalk. The natures of the cysts are different types, they may be fibrous, inflammatory, adenomatous, fibromyomatous or cystic.
The incidence rate of polyp development is common in women after their puberty. The nature of the polyp is benign is most of the cases. The usual size of the polyp is considered as 2-3 cm in diameter. Sometimes cervical polyp is asymptomatic, but sometimes bleeding occurs when they touched.
Symptoms of cervical polyp
In maximum cases cervical polyp not provide any symptoms, but sometimes they are associated with some symptoms, which include:
- Presence of infection provides foul-smelling discharge.
- Spotting occurs between menstrual cycle
- Heavy flow during menstrual cycle
- Bleeding and pain after sexual intercourse.
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Pale yellow and white color mucous discharged
The reason behind the development of the cervical polyps is not known, but following are the reasons which are having some link with cervical polyps:
- Imbalance of estrogen, usually it is considered that increased level of estrogen causes abnormal development of mass which is projected out.
- Chronic inflammatory condition of the cervix, vagina, or uterus
- Blockade in the blood vessels
Enhanced estrogen levels
The estrogen level varies during menstrual cycles, pregnancies and menopause. During pregnancy the estrogen level is too high. Different chemicals present at packed food items included xenoestrogens , air freshener like phthalates and plastic containers increase the estrogen level.
Cervix when inflamed, it looks like reddened, irritable, or craggy. The following causes are mainly responsible for inflammation of the cervix:
- Microbial infection, including HPV (human papillomavirus) infection, warts (condyloma cuminata virus), yeast infection and herpes infection.
- Pregnancy and related complications like abortion or miscarriage.
- Hormonal imbalance
Histopathological descriptions of cervical polyps are mainly classified as:
- Asymptomatic polyps are mainly benign in nature.
- Some polyps can bleed and their nature is benign, but few are degenerative.
- Presence of HPV can change the polypectomy at colposcopy.
- Pelvic examination helps to find the polyps. They are visible as red or purple colored finger shaped growth on the cervix. They are projected out from the cervical canal.
- For check the malignancy biopsy is conducted. For a biopsy test, small tissue sample is collected from the polyps and send it to the laboratory. The usual result is polyps are benign in nature. Rarely neoplsatic tissues or precancerous tissue may find out in biopsy result.
- Routine Pap smear test is recommended for patients who are having a history of polyp development. Pap smear test provide the information about HPV infection, which is one of the causes of cervical cancer and can affect at any age of the female. In Pap smear test small sample of tissue is collected from the cervix by scraping and send it to the laboratory.
The only treatment option is removal of the polyps. This is not a complicated procedure, it can be done in the day care unit only and not require to stay in the hospital, if any complication is not further rises. Different procedures are available for removal of the cervical polyps, which include:
- The base of the polyp becomes twisted
- A surgical suture is tied around the polyps and cut it away
- Ring forceps are used for removing the polyp
Additional support is used for precaution purpose for restricting the re-growth which includes:
- Laser surgery
- Used electrically heated needle for electrocautery ablation
- Application of liquid nitrogen
These methods may create mild pain during the procedure which can last for few hours after. Spotting can occur after two days of removal.
Revival and preventive measures
The polyp removal process is not a complicated and it considered as simple, safe and non-invasive procedure. In case of high risk, routine pelvic examination should maintain and ensures no abnormal findings are developed in the pelvic region.
Some precautionary measures help to prevent the infection which leads to cervical polyp development. Always it has been suggested that wear cotton underwear, as the air can easily pass through and prevents perspiration. Perspiration wets the genital region and promotes the microbial growth, which leads to infection. For preventing the sexually transmitting infection, using of condom is always suggested.
Cervical cancer is treatable at the early stage, so for preventing complications, routine Pap smear test should conduct.