What Are Vaginal Polyps?

A doctor may use a speculum in order to be able to treat vaginal polyps.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 26 June 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Vaginal polyps are abnormal growths of skin that develop inside the vagina. These growths are often described as skin tags, which are like small stems or stalks of skin. In most cases, vaginal polyps are benign and do not cause any pain. A woman may be unaware that she even has them.

While vaginal polyps are often present without any symptoms, some women do notice changes related to them. For example, a woman may have an abnormal discharge that is unrelated to any other type of vaginal condition. She may also bleed between her menstrual periods. Sometimes, a woman may also experience discomfort or outright pain in relation to vaginal polyps.

A doctor can typically detect the presence of vaginal polyps through a physical examination. In many cases, a doctor may not recommend treatment, however. Vaginal polyps are usually benign, and if they're not causing symptoms, a doctor may see no reason to remove them. Since it can be difficult to be 100-percent sure the growths are not cancerous, however, he may recommend removing a polyp and performing a biopsy on it. This test is just to make sure the polyp doesn't contain any cancerous cells.

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When treatment is necessary or desired, removal procedures can usually be handled in a doctor's office or outpatient clinic. To cut a polyp away from the rest of the vaginal tissue, a doctor may use a tool called a speculum to spread the vaginal tissues, so he can see inside and treat the affected area. He may then use a local anesthetic medication to ensure the patient won't feel pain during the procedure. Finally, a doctor typically uses a surgical tool to snip away the polyp from the normal vaginal tissue.

It is also possible to remove vaginal polyps using chemicals that freeze them off or with special lasers. A doctor may be reluctant to use these procedures, however, if there's a chance a polyp could be cancerous. Both types of treatments destroy the polyp, so there's no chance to perform a biopsy. For this reason, doctors may recommend against these forms of treatment unless they are sure the polyps are benign.

Following a procedure to remove vaginal polyps, it is normal to feel some discomfort. For example, a patient may experience minor cramping. Some patients may experience a small amount of vaginal bleeding as well. Many women are able to continue with their normal routines, without the use of pain killers, however.

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Discuss this Article

anon926308
Post 9

I don't see how extra tissue in your vagina could be harmless and painless unless it's extremely tiny. If your labia are gunky, I'd imagine a polyp would be a major problem for collecting yucky stuff around it. If it's not meant to be there, how is it going to function and self-clean (the polyp)? Not to mention something like a piece of skin getting drug back and forth during intercourse, even with lubrication.

anon297764
Post 8

I just found out that I have a vaginal polyp, but it only hurts when I use tampons. Should I worry? My doctor didn't say I should have it removed.

anon288379
Post 7

I have had a hysterectomy, yet I have developed a vaginal polyp and the doctor says she will remove it, but I am afraid. I am uncertain whether this is medically necessary. It bleeds only during intercourse. Should I have this removed? I have had so many surgeries.

anon287570
Post 6

After an operation on the said cervical polyps two years ago, is there a possibility that I can get pregnant?

anon155055
Post 4

You are not alone with Endometriosis. I am now 43 years old and I have been through hell since 28 years old. My life now is a lot better then it has been. Things do improve with this lifelong disease. I never could have kids and that was a great loss for me from this disease.

FernValley
Post 3

@afterall, I have suffered from endometriosis since I was about fourteen years old. It is perhaps one of the most difficult conditions for a woman to have. For one thing, it took me another seven or so years to be diagnosed, partly because doctors often overlook heavy, painful, or irregular periods in teenage girls. Additionally, because like you said one of the only ways to treat the condition is the eventually removal of the ovaries, doctors refuse to operate on me because of my age. Even though I have been telling health care professionals for multiple years that I have no desire to have children, few doctors are willing to "sterilize" a woman who is in childbearing years, especially one under 30.

afterall
Post 2

Another name for vaginal polyps is vaginal cysts, and they can often be a symptom of a more serious problem call endometriosis. Ovarian cysts occur when ovary tissue begins growing in lesions outside of the actual uterus. Women who suffer from endometriosis often suffer from heavy and irregular periods and general pelvic pain in addition to cramps. It can also lead to difficulty with conception.

Endometriotic cysts can be removed with a surgery called laporoscopy, though in many cases the only way to fully stop symptoms and prevent new cysts from forming is through removal of some or part of the ovaries.

recapitulate
Post 1

While problems like vaginal polyps are becoming more common in recent years, it is important that people understand the distinction between "common" and "normal." Vaginal or cervical polyps are not normal, and people who experience the symptoms need to talk to their doctor or gynecologist as soon as possible to discuss treatment and/or removal options.

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