Cervical polyp

Cervical polyp
Cervical polyp
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 N84.1
ICD-9 219
DiseasesDB 2314
MedlinePlus 001494

A cervical polyp is a common benign polyp or tumour on the surface of the cervical canal.[1] They can cause irregular menstrual bleeding but often show no symptoms. Treatment consists of simple removal of the polyp and prognosis is generally good. About 1% of cervical polyps will show neoplastic change which may lead to cancer. They are most common in post-menstrual, pre-menopausal women who have been pregnant.



The cause of cervical polyps is uncertain, but they are often associated with inflammation of the cervix.[2] They may also occur as a result of raised levels of oestrogen or clogged cervical blood vessels.[3]


Cervical polyps often show no symptoms.[4] Where there are symptoms, they include intermenstrual bleeding, abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), vaginal bleeding in post-menopausal women, bleeding after sex and thick white vaginal or yellowish discharge (leukorrhoea).[3][5][6][7]


Cervical polyps can be seen during a pelvic examination as red or purple projections from the cervical canal.[3] Diagnosis can be confirmed by a cervical biopsy which will reveal the nature of the cells present.[3]


Cervical polyps can be removed using ring forceps.[8] They can also be removed by tying surgical string around the polyp and cutting it off.[3] The remaining base of the polyp can then be removed using a laser or by cauterisation.[3] If the polyp is infected, an antibiotic may be prescribed.[3]


99% of cervical polyps will remain benign and 1% will at some point show neoplastic change.[9] Cervical polyps are unlikely to regrow.[3]

Risk factors and epidemiology

Cervical polyps are most common in women who have had children and perimenopausal women.[4] They are rare in pre-menstrual women and uncommon in post-menopausal women.[7]


Cervical polyps are finger-like growths, generally less than 1 cm in diameter.[3][5] They are generally bright red in colour, with a spongy texture.[4] They may be attached to the cervix by a stalk (pedunculated) and occasionally prolapse into the vagina where they can be mistaken for endometrial polyps or submucosal fibroids.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Boon, Mathilde E.; Albert J. H. Suurmeijer (1996). The Pap Smear. Taylor & Francis. pp. 87. ISBN 3718658577. http://books.google.com/?id=umcl4R3sp2AC&pg=PA87. 
  2. ^ "Cervical Polyps" (PDF). Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals (NHS). http://www.dbh.nhs.uk/Library/Patient_Information_Leaflets/WPR22220-Cervical%20Polyps.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Smith, Melanie N. (2006-05-10). "Cervical polyps". MEDLINE. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001494.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  4. ^ a b c Zuber, Thomas J.; E. J. Mayeaux (2004). Atlas of Primary Care Procedures. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 254–256. ISBN 0781739055. http://books.google.com/?id=_lmEDeRGHHMC. 
  5. ^ a b c Bates, Jane (1997). Practical Gynaecological Ultrasound. Cambridge University Press. pp. 77. ISBN 1900151510. http://books.google.com/?id=oZ3RYlRAoxgC&pg=PA77. 
  6. ^ Papadakis, Maxine A.; Stephen J. McPhee, Roni F. Zeiger (2005). Current Consult Medicine 2006. McGraw-Hill Professional. pp. 60. ISBN 0071458921. http://books.google.com/?id=bosWatnmpDgC&pg=PA60. 
  7. ^ a b Bosze, Peter; David M. Luesley (2004). Eagc Course Book on Colposcopy. Informa Health Care. pp. 66. ISBN 9630073560. http://books.google.com/?id=bg6FxsY1xTUC&pg=PA66. 
  8. ^ Moore, Anne (2001-09-20). "How Should I Treat Postcoital Bleeding in a Premenopausal Patient?". Medscape.com. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/412468. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  9. ^ Tillman, Elizabeth. "Short Instructor Materials" (PDF). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 

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