Cervical polyps commonly occur after menarche and are occasionally noted in postmenopausal women. The cause is not known, but inflammation may play an etiologic role. The principal symptoms are discharge and abnormal vaginal bleeding. However, abnormal bleeding should not be ascribed to a cervical polyp without sampling the endocervix and endometrium. The polyps are visible in the cervical os on speculum examination.
Cervical polyps must be differentiated from polypoid neoplastic disease of the endometrium, small submucous pedunculated myomas, and endometrial polyps. Cervical polyps rarely contain malignant foci.
Cervical polyps can generally be removed in the office by avulsion with a uterine packing forceps or ring forceps. If the cervix is soft, patulous, or definitely dilated and the polyp is large, surgical D&C is required (especially if the pedicle is not readily visible). Because of the possibility of endometrial disease, cervical polypectomy should be accompanied by endometrial sampling, and all tissue removed should be submitted for microscopic examination.
Ozsaran AA et al: Endometrial hyperplasia co-existing with cervical polyps. Int J Obstet Gynecol 1999;66:185. [PMID: 10468348]
Revision date: July 5, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD