|What Are The Symptoms Of Cervical Polyps?
Most cervical polyps do not cause symptoms. If they do, you may experience:
• A foul smelling discharge (leukorrhea) if the polyp becomes twisted and infected. Leukorrhea is the medical term for a thick, sticky discharge which can be white or yellow in color.
• Bleeding or spotting between periods.
• Heavy periods (Menorrhagia) - heavier than normal for you.
• Bleeding or spotting after douching or sexual intercourse.
The Female Body: Diagrams of all the important organs.
Reproductive System Disorder: What can go wrong, gynecology.
Treatment of Cervical Polyps: D&C and polypectomy.
Clinical Research And Statistics
One recent study published in Gynecology and Obstetrics (2010) investigated 294 women with cervical polyps. They compared symptoms in premenopausal and postmenopausal women, both those with and without recurrent cervical polyps. The following are the results of the study:
• On diagnosis, there was no single case of malignancy (none of the women turned out to have cancer).
• 72 percent of the women were parous (gave birth at least once).
• 66 percent showed no symptoms (asymptomatic) before diagnosis.
• The recurrence rate of polyps after treatment was 13 percent.
• The predominant symptom was bleeding between periods and bleeding after intercourse.
• Women who had given birth were 10 times more likely to suffer recurrent polyps. They were 8 times more likely to be asymptomatic and 5 times more likely to have polyps removed under general anesthesia.
• Postmenopausal women were 2.2 times more likely to have symptoms and 1.7 times more likely to have them removed under general anesthesia.
• Cervical polyps are mainly benign (non cancerous) lesions that do not cause symptoms.
• The overall rate of recurrence is about 13 percent.
• They are more likely to be symptomatic in postmenopausal women.
When To Call a Doctor
If you experience bleeding after intercourse or between periods, or vaginal discharge make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible for a pelvic examination.
Why Bleeding After Menopause Should Always Be Investigated
Definition: Postmenopausal bleeding is defined as any bleeding or spotting that occurs 12 months or more after your last menstrual period.
Postmenopausal bleeding occurs in about 10 percent of women over the age of 55. It should be referred urgently to a doctor, because while most causes are benign, there is a serious risk that it could be cancer. Endometrial cancer is diagnosed in 10 percent of cases, the peak age for occurrences being between the ages of 65 and 75. Other causes of postmenopausal bleeding include:
• Endometrial carcinoma (early stages of uterine cancer) or endometrial hyperplasia (pre-cancer stage).
• Cervical carcinoma (early stage of cancer of the cervix).
• Vaginal dryness (atrophy - inflammation of the vagina).
• Cervical polyps.
• Hormone producing ovarian tumors.
• Uterine polyps - polyps occurring in the womb.
The aim of any doctor examination will be to firstly rule out cancer. A detailed personal history will be taken to establish any risk factors for endometrial cancer. Your doctor will want to know if you have been taking HRT, anticoagulants or tamoxifen. A pelvic and abdominal examination will be performed to see if a source for the bleeding can be found - such as atrophic changes or polyps. If these are ruled out, an endometrial biopsy and ultrasound scan will be performed (read about endometriosis diagnosis for more details).