Cervical Polyps During Pregnancy

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on October 22, 2012

Cervical polyps are benign tumors found on the wall of the cervix, the portion of a woman's anatomy that connects the uterus to the vagina. They appear in the form of small, smooth, finger-like projections that are red or purplish in color. In most cases, they pop up during the reproductive stage of a woman's life and are more common in women who have been pregnant. Cervical polyps are common during pregnancy because of the hormonal changes that the body undergoes during this period. In a few cases, these tumors are known to become malignant, resulting in cervical cancer.

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Hence, timely testing is recommended and they should not be ignored.

During pregnancy, the flow of blood to the pelvic region increases manifold as a result of hormonal changes. In some cases, the sudden increase in blood flow to the cervical region causes a congestion of the blood vessels in the cervix. This could be one of the causes of cervical polyps during pregnancy. Another major cause of cervical polyps during pregnancy is an increase in estrogen levels which is a part and parcel of pregnancy. Infection in the cervix and cervical inflammation can also lead to cervical polyps. In some cases, no apparent cause for the formation of these tumors is detected. The symptoms of cervical polyps during pregnancy include an abnormally heavy white or yellowish vaginal discharge as well as bleeding following sexual intercourse. A bloody discharge, spotting or bleeding could also be indicative of cervical polyps. However, some women do not experience any symptoms and these tumors are usually detected only when an internal pelvic examination is performed.

There are a number of methods for removing cervical polyps during pregnancy. In some cases, a gentle twisting of the polyp can result in its removal. Another method is by cutting off the polyp by tying its base with surgical string. Laser or cauterization may also be used to remove polyps. In some cases, special forceps called ring forceps may be used to remove the tumor from its base. Following removal, a solution is applied to the area to stop bleeding. However, in the case of cervical polyps during pregnancy, removal is recommended only if the polyps have an abnormal shape and appearance or if they are very large. Removal is also recommended if they result in bleeding. Testing the polyp for malignancy is always recommended so as to prevent future complications.

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