TABLE 11 -4 ■ Abnormalities of the Cervix

Cervical Polyp

Cervical Polyp

A cervical polyp usually arises from the endocervical canal, becoming visible when it protrudes through the cervical os. It is bright red, soft, and rather fragile. When only the tip is seen, it cannot be differentiated clinically from a polyp originating in the endometrium. Polyps are benign but may bleed.

Mucopurulent Cervicitis

Mucopurulent cervicitis produces purulent yellow drainage from the cervical os, usually due to infection from Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, or herpes. These infections are sexually transmitted, and may occur without symptoms or signs.

Neisseria Gonorrhoeae

Carcinoma of the Cervix

Carcinoma of the cervix begins in an area of metaplasia. In its earliest stages, it cannot be distinguished from a normal cervix. In a late stage, an extensive, irregular, cauliflowerlike growth may develop. Early frequent intercourse, multiple partners, smoking, and infection with human papillomavirus increase the risk for cervical cancer.

Vaginal Adenosis

Vaginal adenosis Columnar epithelk Collar

Fetal Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol (DES)*

Daughters of women who took DES during pregnancy are at much higher risk for a number of abnormalities, including (1) columnar epithelium that covers most or all of the cervix, (2) vaginal adenosis, i.e., extension of this epithelium to the vaginal wall, and (3) a circular collar or ridge of tissue, of varying shapes, between cervix and vagina. Much less common is an otherwise rare carcinoma of the upper vagina.

*In the United States, exposure to DES diminished in the late 1960s and stopped in 1971 when the drug was banned.

TABLE 11-5 ■ Vaginitis

The vaginal discharge that often accompanies vaginitis must be distinguished from a physiologic discharge. The latter is clear or white and may contain white clumps of epithelial cells; it is not malodorous. It is also important to distinguish vaginal from cervical discharges. Use a large cotton swab to wipe off the cervix. If no cervical discharge is present in the os, suspect a vaginal origin and consider the causes below. Remember that diagnosis of cervicitis or vaginitis hinges on careful collection and analysis of the appropriate laboratory specimens.

Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Bacterial Vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition that is characterized by vaginal discharge and results from an overgrowth of atypical bacteria in the vagina.

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