A cervical polyp is a small fleshy growth on the cervix, they tend to be reddish brown or grey. They vary in size but they rarely are larger than 2cm long, most patients have one at a time but it is not uncommon for there to be two or three. Cervical polyps are hardly ever cancerous.
In most cases cervical polyps do not exhibit symptoms so do not need to be treated, however if they do they tend to be the following:
- An unpleasant smelling discharge if the polyp is twisted and infected
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Heavier periods than normal
- Bleeding or spotting.
They are diagnosed relatively easily because they are clearly visible during a pelvic examination. As the symptoms of cervical polyps resemble those of cervical cancer your gynaecologist will perform a pap smear test to rule out cancer. A transvaginal ultrasound may be used to confirm polyps.
They are often shed naturally through menstruation, however if they do need to be removed the procedure is relatively straight forward. Under local anaesthetic your gynaecologist will use small forceps to remove them, if any tissue remains it will be scraped away with a curette. The cells shall then be sent to a pathology laboratory to check for signs of cancerous cells.