What is an endocervical polyp?

An endocervical polyp is a type of growth that appears on a woman's cervix, which is called the cervix. Polyps are often red, purple, or grayish in color and can be of various sizes, although they are usually small. A woman may have a single endocervical polyp or a group of endocervical polyps. They are usually not cancerous and may not even cause symptoms. However, to make sure they are not cancerous, doctors often recommend that women have a biopsy, which means looking at the cancer cells.

Endocervical polyps form from the glands in a woman's cervix. These polyps often occur in women who are at least 20 years old but have not yet reached menopause. Ectocervical polyps, which form from the outer layer of the cervix, are generally more common in women who have gone through menopause. Endocervical polyps rarely occur in girls who have not had their first menstrual period and are more likely to develop in women who have given birth to boys.

A woman can have an endocervical polyp without having any symptoms. However, in some cases, a woman may notice symptoms such as foul-smelling discharge, abnormal discharge without a bad smell, bleeding between menstrual periods, and bleeding after sex. Some women with endocervical polyps may even have heavier periods as a symptom of the growth. When women have no symptoms, polyps can be discovered during routine gynecological exams.

An endocervical polyp is usually not harmful to a woman's health, and if it doesn't cause symptoms, there may be no reason to treat it. However, doctors often think it is best to remove this type of polyp so that it can be checked for cancer cells. Sometimes an endocervical polyp will even slough off on its own. For example, it can simply fall off during sexual intercourse or while a woman is having a menstrual period.

If an endocervical polyp is small, doctors can usually remove it in a doctor's office instead of having the patient admitted to a hospital. In such a case, a surgical instrument is typically used to grasp the polyp and pull or twist it off the cervix. However, if the polyp is large or very wide, doctors may need to remove it in an operating room. In such a case, the area may be numbed with a local anesthetic, or the patient may be given a general anesthetic so that she sleeps through the procedure.

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