Polyp in Pregnancy

Question

I am 12 wks. pregnant and since week seven I’ve been having vaginal spotting. My OB finally found that I have a cervical polyp. This past weekend I went back to the ER because I had really heavy bleeding. The ER doctor and OB on call both thought that I was miscarrying, but the next day, my OB again said that it was the polyp, that my cervix is closed and that the baby is safe. In the literature I’ve read on cervical polyps during pregnancy, it says that women will have light bleeding during the pregnancy, but not the massive bleeding (about 10 oz.)that I had last Sunday. It also suggests that the polyp might grow large enough to protrude through the vulva and inevitably have to be surgically removed during pregnancy to avoid preterm labor or complications.
My questions are the following:

Can the polyp blow up like a balloon with blood then release it? Did the blood come from my cervix? How safe is the surgery to remove the polyp and is there an alternative? Thank you.

Maria

Answer

Dear Maria,

Heavy bleeding as occurred in your case could have come from the polyp. If the polyp is inflamed or painful, and especially if it is large, it is better to remove it. There are not really good studies on polyps and pregnancy, so there are different techniques and different opinions on removing them, as well as the ideal timing. The alternative to removing a polyp is leaving it alone. The removal is not really dangerous, but in the case of a large polyp, should be done in a controlled surgical environment in case of heavy bleeding.

M. Davenport, M.D.

Answered By:

Mary Davenport, MD, MS
Mary Davenport, MD, FACOG, an obstetrician/gynecologist from the Oakland Region of California, offers telehealth services over MyCatholicDoctor.com She graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and completed her residency at UC San Diego. Dr. Davenport is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and serves on the Advisory Board of the California Association of Natural Family Planning.

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