Definition - What does Cervical Polyp mean?
Cervical polyps are the overgrowth of the cells in the cervical canal. The cervix is a thin canal-like structure that connects the vagina to the uterus. Sperm must pass through the cervix to travel from the vagina into the uterus. The cells on the walls of the cervix can overgrow and lead to the formation of cervical polyps. These polyps can grow large enough to block the opening of the cervix into the uterus and can, therefore, lead to infertility.
FertilitySmarts explains Cervical Polyp
What causes the growth of these polyps is largely unknown. Researchers believe that polyps are due to an increase in the level of estrogen. It is also believed that these polyps might be the result of inflammation in the cervix or due to the clogging of cervical blood vessels. A small fraction of these polyps may be linked to cervical cancer.
Cervical polyps are variable in size ranging from a few millimeters to 2-3 centimeters - large enough to block the cervical canal completely. Most of these polyps, around 99% of them, are benign (non-cancerous). Only a small percentage (less than 1%) are cancerous in nature.
Most of these polyps are small and do not pose any threat to the fertility. However, large polyps may lead to menstrual irregularities and infertility.
The diagnosis of polyps is based on ultrasound and direct examination of the cervix. A biopsy may be taken to differentiate benign polyps from cancerous ones.
Small polyps can be removed using ring forceps. Large polyps can be surgically removed with their bases ablated through cauterization. Rarely are these polyps are large enough to warrant an extensive surgical procedure.