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 are probably 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 is by speculum examination.
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.
If bleeding or discharge persists after treatment, cervical cytology and endometrial biopsy are done to exclude cancer.
Last full review/revision December 2008 by S. Gene McNeeley, MD
Content last modified September 2013