Cervical polyps

Definition of Cervical polyps

Cervical polyps are fingerlike growths on the lower part of the uterus that connects with the vagina ().

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The cause of cervical polyps is not completely understood. They may occur with:

Signs and tests

During a pelvic examination, the health care provider will see smooth, red or purple, fingerlike growths on the cervix. A cervical biopsy will most often show cells that are consistent with a benign polyp. Rarely there may be abnormal, precancerous, or cancer cells in a polyp.

Treatment

The health care provider can remove polyps during a simple, outpatient procedure. Gentle twisting of a cervical polyp may remove it. Larger polyps may require removal with electrocautery.

Expectations (prognosis)

Typically, polyps are not cancerous (benign) and are easy to remove. Polyps do not usually grow back. Women who have polyps are at risk of growing more polyps.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/22/2010

Female reproductive anatomy
Cervical polyps
Uterus

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.