Non-cancerous tumours of the cervix

A non-cancerous (benign) tumour of the cervix is a growth that does not spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Non-cancerous tumours are not usually life-threatening. They are typically removed with surgery and do not usually come back (recur).

Cervical polyp

Cervical polyps are the most common non-cancerous tumour of the cervix. Most polyps are non-cancerous, but some can be cancerous (malignant).

Cervical polyps happen most often in women over 20 years of age. They are rare in young women who have not started their period (menstruation). They are red, finger-like growths. They grow in the endocervical canal (the passageway from the uterus to the vagina) and may stick out into the vagina.

Cervical polyps may not cause symptoms. Some women with a cervical polyp may have abnormal vaginal bleeding or vaginal discharge that is yellow to white. A cervical polyp may be found when a doctor does a pelvic exam and Pap test.

Cervical polyps don’t usually need to be treated. Polyps that are large, are bleeding or look abnormal can be removed, usually during a pelvic exam.

Nabothian cyst

A nabothian cyst is a lump filled with mucus that develops on the surface of the cervix. Most women have nabothian cysts and their presence is normal. They are usually found during a routine pelvic exam and appear as a small, smooth rounded lump or collection of lumps on the cervix.

They usually don’t need to be treated. In some cases they may become large enough to change the shape of the cervical canal and make pelvic exams difficult. In these cases, a nabothian cyst may be opened and drained to release the mucus or may be removed by surgery.

Cervical fibroid

Cervical fibroids (myomas) start in the muscle tissue of the cervix. They are similar to uterine fibroids but less common.

Cervical fibroids may not cause symptoms. The most common symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding. Pain during intercourse may happen. If the fibroid becomes large, it may partially block the urinary tract and cause urinary drainage problems such as dribbling or urinary retention. Urinary tract infections may develop.

Cervical fibroids usually don’t need to be treated unless they cause symptoms. Treatment includes medicine to control symptoms or surgery to remove the fibroid.

Expert review and references

Medical disclaimer

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