Endometriosis causes cells similar to the uterine lining to grow outside of the uterus. The exact cause of cervical endometriosis is unclear, but scarring in the area may increase the risk. Symptoms can include unusual vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, bleeding, and more.
Endometriosis of the cervix is rare. The cells most commonly grow on the pelvic side walls, the ovaries, or the fallopian tubes.
Many people do not realize that they have cervical endometriosis. It may cause no symptoms or the symptoms may be nonspecific.
This article looks at what symptoms may be present, as well as the diagnostic process and treatment options. It also investigates the effect of this condition on fertility.
Endometriosis affects about 6–10% of women, and it is especially prevalent in those of reproductive age.
Cervical endometriosis is rare. In a study of colonoscopic examinations, only
Because there are often no symptoms, a person may be unaware that they have this condition until they undergo a regular pelvic exam or receive an unusual Pap smear result.
A person with cervical endometriosis may have:
- unusual vaginal discharge
- pelvic pain
- pain during intercourse
- bleeding after intercourse
- bleeding between menstrual periods
- heavy, prolonged, or painful periods
- in rare cases, a life threatening hemorrhage
- in aggressive cases, weakness in the thighs and difficulty walking
To a doctor, the growths on the cervix may appear blue-black or reddish.
Despite ongoing research, the medical community has yet to determine the cause of cervical endometriosis.
But experts know that past procedures that have caused scarring in the area may
Some of these procedures aim to remove tissue. Specific types include:
- any involving loop excision
- laser treatments
Cervical endometriosis does not directly affect the chance of conceiving.
However, any scar tissue on the cervix might block semen from entering the uterus, though the likelihood of this is
Anyone who is concerned that they may have cervical endometriosis should speak with a doctor about their symptoms and management options, which may include surgical removal of the endometriosis tissue.
If a doctor discovers growths on the cervix, they may order a Pap smear. If the result is abnormal, they may then perform a colposcopy.
This procedure involves using a binocular microscope to investigate the presence of lesions on the cervix, vagina, and vulva.
If there are lesions, the doctor
If endometriosis causes no symptoms, a person may not need treatment. However, a doctor should still monitor the situation regularly.
Treatments include hormone therapy, such as the birth control pill, pain relievers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and surgery.
The goal of surgery is to remove the endometriosis tissue on the cervix. Two
- Superficial electrocauterization. A doctor uses electricity or heat to remove the endometrial growths.
- Large loop excision. This involves a tool with a wire loop that carries an electrical current. The doctor removes endometriosis growths by passing the loop through the tissue of the cervix.
It is important to note that the growths may reappear after surgical removal.
Cervical endometriosis is so rare that it may be misdiagnosed. Growths on the cervix can also indicate cervical cancer, but a doctor can reach a correct diagnosis with a biopsy or careful examination.
Other possible misdiagnoses of cervical endometriosis include:
- smooth muscle growths on the cervix
- inflammatory cysts
- cervical polyps
- melanoma, a type of skin cancer
Some conditions are linked with cervical endometriosis, including:
- scarring of cervical tissue
- infection with human papillomavirus, known as HPV
- bacterial infection
Below, we answer some common questions about cervical endometriosis.
What does it mean to find endometrial-like cells in a Pap smear test?
It can be normal for benign endometrial-like cells to appear on a Pap smear in women of child-bearing age, especially around the time when a period is due.
After menopause, endometrial-like cells on a Pap smear
Can you see cervical endometriosis on an ultrasound?
However, if a lesion is large enough, it may appear on an ultrasound.
What are the first signs of endometriosis?
Cervical endometriosis does not always cause symptoms. Early signs can include any general endometriosis symptoms, such as abdominal pain, pain during urination or bowel movements, pain during intercourse, excessive pain or bleeding during menstruation, or infertility.
Cervical endometriosis is rare. It may cause no symptoms or symptoms of a range of other health issues, so doctors may find it challenging to diagnose.
However, receiving an accurate diagnosis is essential. Anyone with symptoms that might indicate cervical endometriosis should contact a healthcare professional for a pelvic exam and further testing.
Treatment may not be necessary, but if pain or discomfort occurs, removing the growths should relieve the pain.