The endometrium is the inside lining of the uterus. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that extends down into the top of the vagina. A polyp is a mass of tissue projecting from a mucous membrane, such as the cervix or endometrium.
Endometrial polyps are overgrowths of endometrial glands and stroma in the endometrium.
Cervical and endocervical polyps are the mostly benign and grow inside the cervical canal. Endocervical polyps are more common than cervical polyps. They have a narrow stalk and occur more often in women who are pre-menopausal.
Cervical polyps have a shorter, broader base and occur more often in women who are menopausal.
Polyps are rare, occurring in about one in every 10,000 women. They are more common in women who have been pregnant more than once. More than 99% of polyps are benign. The incidence of malignant polyps of the cervix is rare. Less than 1 in every 200 polyps is malignant.
Most polyps are smooth, soft, reddish-purple to cherry red, and fragile. They are considered fragile because it is common for polyps to bleed when touched.
Single or multiple polyps can occur. They range in size from only a few millimeters to 2-3 centimeters in length and width.
Polyps often do not cause symptoms. They are usually found during a routine pelvic exam. If you have polyps, bleeding or spotting may result from a pelvic exam, sexual intercourse, or with any manual stimulation of the cervix.
The most effective and least invasive way to remove polyps is with a polypectomy. If a polyp is removed at the base the bleeding is generally minimal. After the polyp is removed, the base is cauterized to stop the bleeding.