Cervical Polyps

Information for patients 

A polyp is a piece of overgrown skin sticking out from the delicate skin which is found in certain areas of the body. As such, polyps are commonly found in the large intestine, stomach, inside of the nose, womb and cervix. A cervical (cervix) polyp sticks out from the surface of the cervical canal.

Cervical polyps are most common in women who have had children (not through caesarean section) and have now stopped having their periods. Polyps often cause no symptoms at all but they can cause irregular vaginal bleeding.

Treatment of cervical polyps

Small polyps can be removed very simply by being twisted off the cervix and do not require local anaesthetic. Generally, the removal of the polyp cannot be felt but, in some cases, abdominal pain (like period cramps) can be present. The pain should settle down quite quickly.

Larger polyps may require local anaesthetic to numb the cervix and then removal using a heated wire loop. You may experience abdominal cramps during the removal of the polyp, as local anaesthetic cannot prevent these.

Afterwards there may be some lingering abdominal pain for which we recommend over-the-counter painkillers. There may also be some discharge or light bleeding that could last for up to two weeks.

After polyp removal

The doctor or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) who removed the polyp will give you advice on how to look after yourself afterwards, which may include the following:

  • No sexual intercourse for one week
  • No tampons for one week
  • No vigorous exercise or swimming for one week
  • We recommend that you do not do any long distance travel during the first week, although there are no health grounds for this—please discuss with the doctor or CNS

If the polyp was removed using local anaesthetic and the wire loop, we would advise the above but for up to four weeks.

Results

All samples removed are sent to the laboratory for analysis. However, most polyps are completely benign (harmless). The results will be posted to you within four weeks of the polyp removal.

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