What are the most common cervical stenosis symptoms?

Many women have cervical stenosis and never know it. This is because even the most common cervical stenosis symptoms are not too common for most women and can easily be mistaken for something else. Cervical stenosis is a narrowing of the lower region of the cervix, which is the opening to the womb or uterus. The most common, though rare, symptoms of cervical stenosis include irregular or missed menstruation, painful menstruation, and infertility in women who have not yet reached menopause.

In some rare cases, a woman may feel a lump in her lower abdomen because cervical stenosis can lead to a hematometra and cause a swelling of the uterus as pus and blood collect inside the uterus. Cervical stenosis is often related to other conditions, such as cervical cancer or cancer treatments. Younger women may notice irregular periods or bleeding between periods, but this can also be a symptom of many other conditions. Painful periods are also common with other endometrial conditions.

Probably the most noticeable symptom of cervical stenosis would be a lack of menstruation in women who are still of childbearing age. Once pregnancy is ruled out, a physical exam is often performed which can lead to a diagnosis of cervical stenosis. However, this symptom is not common, as many women do not have a narrow enough cervix to prevent menstruation altogether. Postmenopausal women may not notice any changes at all.

When symptoms of cervical stenosis are present, they are often related to another underlying condition. Diseases such as cervical cancer can cause strictures, as well as stomach pain and fatigue. This is the rarest cause of stricture, sometimes occurring as a result of treatment rather than the disease itself. For example, radiation treatment for cancer can sometimes cause strictures of the cervix.

Diagnosis of stricture involves trying to insert a tube into the cervix. This can show healthcare providers how narrow the cervical opening has become. If no other conditions have been noted by that time, the doctor may perform a Pap test to rule out cervical cancer as a possible cause. Treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms.

Asymptomatic strictures are rarely treated unless they are caused by cancer. When treatment is done for cervical stenosis symptoms, it usually involves the use of a device that dilates the cervix. Any underlying conditions should also be treated to prevent recurrence.

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