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Cervical Polyps

by S. Gene McNeeley, MD

Cervical polyps are common benign growths of the cervix and endocervix.

Cervical polyps occur in about 2 to 5% of women. They usually originate in the endocervical canal. Endocervical polyps may be caused by chronic inflammation. They rarely become malignant.

Most cervical polyps are asymptomatic. Endocervical polyps may bleed between menses or after intercourse or become infected, causing purulent vaginal discharge (leukorrhea). Endocervical polyps are usually reddish pink, glistening, and < 1 cm in all dimensions; they may be friable.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is by speculum examination.

Treatment

Polyps that cause bleeding or discharge should be removed. Excision can be done in the office and does not require anesthetics. Bleeding after excision is rare and can be controlled with chemical cautery. Cervical cytology should be done.

If bleeding or discharge persists after treatment, endometrial biopsy is done to exclude cancer.

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