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Many women have stenosis of the cervix and never even know it. This is because even the most common cervical stenosis symptoms are not overly common for most women and can easily be mistaken for something else. Cervical stenosis is a narrowing of the lower region of the cervix, which is the opening of the womb or uterus. The most common signs of cervical stenosis, although rare, include irregular or lack of menstruation, painful menstruation, and infertility in women who have not yet reached menopause.
In some rare cases, a woman may feel a lump in her lower abdomen because the cervical stenosis can lead to a hematometra and cause a swelling of the uterus as pus and blood accumulate inside the womb. Cervical stenosis is often related to other conditions, such as cervical cancer or cancer treatments. Younger women may notice irregular periods or bleeding between periods, but this can also be a symptom of many other conditions. Painful periods are also common with other endometrial conditions.
Probably the most noticeable of cervical stenosis symptoms would be a lack of menstruation in women who are still in their childbearing years. Once pregnancy has been ruled out, a physical exam is often performed and may lead to a diagnosis of cervical stenosis. This symptom is not common, though, as many women do not have a cervix narrow enough to prevent menstruation altogether. Post-menopausal women may not notice any changes at all.
When cervical stenosis symptoms are present, they are often related to another underlying condition. Illnesses like cervical cancer can cause stenosis as well as like stomach pain and fatigue. This is the rarest cause of stenosis, which sometimes happens as a result of treatment rather than the illness itself. For instance, radiation treatment for cancer can sometimes cause stenosis of the cervix.
Diagnosing stenosis involves attempting to insert a probe into the cervix. This can show doctors how narrow the cervical opening has become. If no other conditions have been noticed by that time, the doctor may run a pap test to rule out cervical cancer as a possible cause. Treatment will depend on the severity of symptoms.
Asymptomatic stenosis is rarely treated unless it is caused by cancer. When treatment for cervical stenosis symptoms is performed, it generally involves using a device which dilates the cervix. Any underlying conditions should also be treated to prevent it from recurring.
This is why regular gynecological exams are so important. I had quite a scare last year, and thanks to my regular check up we caught it in time. I tell all my friends to get their yearly exams just for this reason. Also, ladies if you have a concern don’t be afraid to ask your doctor!