What are cervical polyps?
What causes cervical polyps?
The cause of cervical polyps is not entirely understood. They may result from infection. They can also result from long-term (chronic) inflammation, an abnormal response to an increase in estrogen levels, or congestion of blood vessels in the cervical canal.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom a woman will notice is abnormal vaginal bleeding that occurs:
- Between menstrual periods.
- After menopause.
- After sexual intercourse.
- After douching.
Cervical polyps may be inflamed and rarely can become infected, causing vaginal discharge of yellow or white mucus. Polyps often occur without symptoms.
How are they treated?
The most common treatment is removal of the polyp during a pelvic examination . This can be done simply by gently twisting the polyp, tying it tightly at the base, or removing it with special forceps. A solution is applied to the base of the polyp to stop any bleeding.
Polyps do not need to be removed unless they bleed, are very large, or have an unusual appearance.
Should cervical polyps be tested?
Almost all cervical polyps are non-cancerous (benign). Your doctor may decide to send the polyp to the lab to have it tested, but testing is not always needed.
Who is affected by cervical polyps?
Cervical polyps most often occur in women older than 20 who have had several pregnancies. Most cervical polyps are first discovered during a pelvic examination. Usually only a single polyp develops, though sometimes two or three are found during an examination.
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMay 21, 2015
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
Want More Information?
HealthLink BC, your provincial health line, is as close as your phone or the web any time of the day or night, every day of the year.
Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. or for deaf and hearing-impaired, call 7-1-1.
You can speak with a health service navigator, who can also connect you with a:
- registered nurse any time, every day of the year;
- registered dietitian from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday;
- pharmacist from 5pm to 9am, every day of the year.
Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.
FIND Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.