After finding a small cervical polyp, what is the recommended next course of action?

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"More than 20 years of obstetrics and gynaecology experience"

For most women especially if the cervical polyp is small, they may not have any symptoms and so it is usually discovered during a routine pap smear (cervical cancer screening). The most common symptom that would prompt women to see their gynaecologist would be post-coital bleeding (bleeding after sexual intercourse).

The best course of treatment would be for the gynaecologist to remove the cervical polyp with a sponge forceps and no analgesia is needed during the removal as it is painless. The cervical polyp is then sent to a histology lab for the pathologist to examine thoroughly in order to exclude any possibility of malignancy.

If the cervical polyp is large or if the base is broad, the removal would have to be performed as a day surgery (minor surgery) case with appropriate anaesthesia in case of excessive bleeding that needs to be arrested quickly after the polyp has been excised. In the majority of cases, these cervical polyps tend to be benign in nature.

If a cervical polyp has been detected, follow up with radiological investigations and excision/removal of the polyp may be recommended by your gynaecologist. Usually, if the polyp is small, the removal procedure is fairly uncomplicated and both the patient and surgeon will glean more information about the nature of the polyp (whether benign or malignant) through histology testing.

There is also a need to distinguish cervical polyps from endometrial polyps through histology as they have different risks. Majority of cervical and endometrial polyps are benign but thorough testing is required for confirmation. Do see your gynaecologist for their specialist opinion on the management of your condition.

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