Cervical polyps are fingerlike growths on the lower part of the uterus that connects with the vagina (cervix).
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
The cause of cervical polyps is not completely understood. They may occur with:
- An abnormal response to increased levels of the female hormone, estrogen
- Chronic inflammation
- Clogged blood vessels in the cervix
Cervical polyps are common, especially in women over age 20 who have had children. Polyps are rare in young women who have not started their period (menstruation).
Most women have only one polyp, but some women have two or three.
Pictures & Images
Female reproductive anatomy
External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.
Cervical polyps are small fingerlike growths originating from the mucosal surface of the cervix. The small fragile growths hang from a stalk and protrude through the cervical opening.
The uterus is a hollow muscular organ located in the female pelvis between the bladder and rectum. The ovaries produce the eggs that travel through the fallopian tubes. Once the egg has left the ovary it can be fertilized and implant itself in the lining of the uterus. The main function of the uterus is to nourish the developing fetus prior to birth.
Review Date : 2/22/2010
Reviewed By : Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.