CERVICAL EROSION (CERVICAL ECTROPION)

What is cervical erosion?

Cervical erosion occurs when the soft cells (glandular cells) that line the inside of the cervical canal spread to the outer surface of your cervix where there are hard cells (epithelial cells).

Where the two types of cells meet is called the transformation zone. This condition is sometimes referred to as cervical erosion. Cervical erosion is fairly common among women of childbearing age but is not cancerous and doesn’t affect fertility. Even so, it may cause problems for some women.

What are the symptoms?

Women with cervical erosion may not have any symptoms at all. Oddly enough, you may not be aware you have cervical erosion until you have a pelvic examination.

If you do have symptoms, they’re likely to include:

  • pain and bleeding during or after intercourse
  • light mucus discharge
  • spotting between periods
  • pain and bleeding during or after a pelvic exam

Cervical erosion pain is the most common cause of bleeding during the last months of pregnancy as glandular cells are more delicate than epithelial cells, producing more mucus with a tendency to bleed easily.

See our specialist if you have bleeding between periods, abnormal discharge, or pain during or after sex. Based on cervical erosion symptoms, some reasons could be cervicitis in cervical ectropion, uterus cancer, cervical ulcer, uterus ulcer or cervical cancer signs – being the result of other health-related conditions including:

  • cervical erosion bleeding
  • cervical polyp removal & fibroids
  • endometriosis
  • problems with your IUD
  • cervical cancer stages
  • dysfunctional uterine bleeding
  • abnormal uterine bleeding
  • constant uterine bleeding
  • reasons for spotting
  • bleeding cervix when touched
  • heavy bleeding
  • vaginal bleeding (or veginal bleeding)
  • problems with your pregnancy
What causes this condition to develop?

Some women may be born with it. Cervical erosion can also caused by protruding cervix & hormonal fluctuations making it commonplace in women of reproductive age.

If cervical erosion develops while taking estrogen-containing contraceptives, ask our specialist if it’s necessary to switch your birth control.

Cervical erosion is rare in postmenopausal women.

How is it diagnosed?

Cervical erosion is likely to be discovered during a routine pelvic examination and/or pap test as your cervix will appear bright red and rougher than normal. It may also bleed a little during the exam.

If you’re not experiencing any symptoms and your pap test results are normal, you probably don’t need further testing.

If you’re having difficult symptoms, we may test for underlying conditions.

Should it be treated?

There may not be any causes of bleeding to treat cervical erosion unless your symptoms are bothering you.

You may want to talk to us about treatment options should you experience ongoing, troublesome symptoms such as mucus discharge, female bleeding, or pain during or after sex.

The main treatment is cauterisation of the area accomplished by heat (diathermy), cold (cryosurgery), or silver nitrate. The cauterization will help prevent abnormal discharge and bleeding.

Each of these procedures can be performed under local anesthetic in a doctor’s office in a matter of minutes and will require no hospital stay.

After the procedure, your cervix will need time to heal. You’ll be advised to avoid intercourse and use of tampons for about four weeks.

Our specialist will provide aftercare instructions and schedule a follow-up examination. You will need to follow-up if you have:

  • foul-smelling discharge
  • bleeding that’s heavier than a period
  • bleeding that lasts longer than expected or prolonged bleeding causes
  • cervical erosion bleeding

This could indicate an infection or issues that require treatment.

Cauterisation usually resolves these symptoms and if these symptoms subside, it is considered successful. If the symptoms return, the treatment can be repeated.

What’s the outlook?

Cervical erosion surgical treatment is an obligation as it interferes with your sexual enjoyment. However, if you wish to resolve these symptoms, the treatment is fast, safe, and effective and there are generally no long-term health concerns.

Other conditions of the cervix

Women may worry that cervical ectropion may be related to other conditions that affect the cervix. These include:

Cervical cancer

The red, inflamed appearance of the cervix in women who have cervical ectropion may look similar to early signs of cervical cancer. However, the two conditions are not related.

Cervical ectropion is not caused by cancer and is not an early symptom of cervical cancer.

If a woman is spotting or experiencing cervical pain and is unsure that cervical ectropion is the cause, our specialist doctors can do a pelvic examination or recommend a Pap test.

 

Chlamydia

Having cervical ectropion does not mean a woman has chlamydia. However, a 2009 study found that women under 30 with cervical ectropion had a higher rate of chlamydial infection than those who did not.

It is a good idea for women to be tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), particularly Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, which may not have any apparent symptoms.

What is pap smear?

A Pap smear is a screening tool which will aid in the detection of abnormal cells and cancer. It works by sampling cells from the cervix.

The Pap smear is important for preventing the spread of cervical cancer. Learn more about cervical cancer vaccine cost & hpv injection price too.

Cervical cancer screening is important for the prevention and early diagnosis of cervical cancer. Tools such as the Pap smear and human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV vaccine) and testing are necessary to detect:

  • Precancerous cell changes
  • HPV in women
  • Cervical cancer
Planning Ahead
You may wish to prepare a list of questions to ask before seeing us so that you will not miss out anything important. Ask for the appointment on a day when you know you will not be having your period. Be sure to bring a list of all medications and supplements that you are taking.
Can I walk in for an appointment or service?
We want to make sure we cater enough time for your visit with our doctor. As such, we strongly advise that you make a prior appointment with our staff. Our specialist will then meet you on the allocated time for a detailed discussion. Please call or email us for an appointment.
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