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Clinical Summary

Cervical polyps are friable, fingerlike growths that usually originate in the endocervical canal. They are typically asymptomatic but may bleed with minimal trauma such as intercourse or douching. Polyps may also become infected and cause purulent discharge. Single polyps are more common than multiple polyps. Polyps are most commonly caused by infection, chronic inflammation, or excess estrogen.

Management and Disposition

No treatment is necessary in the emergency department (ED). Consider alternative causes of vaginal bleeding such as infection and pregnancy. Refer all patients with incidentally discovered polyps for outpatient gynecologic evaluation.

Pearls

  1. Cervical polyps are the most common benign neoplasm of the cervix.

  2. Only polyps that are bleeding or infected are usually removed.

FIGURE 10.6

Cervical Polyps. Several fleshy fingerlike growths are seen protruding from the cervical os. (Photo contributor: Kevin J. Knoop, MD, MS.)

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