Often discovered during a routine check-up rather than as a result of obvious symptoms. Check-up involves manual and visual examination of vagina, and a cervical smear or 'Pap' test, which involves taking a few cells from mouth of cervix for analysis.
Current medical opinion is that all women should have a smear test within 1 year of becoming sexually active, and then at 3-5 year intervals until age 65-70. More frequent, even yearly, tests are recommended if woman (or her partner) has many sexual partners, has vulval warts (or if partner has penile or anal warts), smokes heavily, or has had a previously abnormal smear.
Just occasionally, when delicate tissue around tip of eroded cervix (see cervical erosion below) reverts to tougher tissue typical of lining of vagina, certain cells become abnormal and may eventually cause cancer of the cervix (see Cancer); to minimize risk of malignant change, suspect tissue is surgically removed or destroyed by laser or cauterization; in some cases, and certainly if cancer is already present, Hysterectomy is advised. Dysplasia is likely to be symptomless, although its precursor, cervical erosion, may not. Homeopathic treatment is constitutional.
Signalled by watery bleeding after intercourse or between periods (see unusual discharge - Menstrual Problems); cause is extension of delicate, mucus-secreting lining of cervical canal to outer part of cervix during or after pregnancy or as result of taking oral contraceptives; in itself, condition is harmless, although it makes mouth of cervix more vulnerable to infection; if discharge is heavy, cauterization of affected tissue may be recommended. Constitutional homeopathic treatment is advised, but in the meantime the following remedies may lessen discharge and clear up any infection.
Specific remedies to be taken 4 times daily for up to 14 days
- Burning discharge, worse during day, especially in afternoon Alumina 6c
- Profuse, smarting discharge, with bleeding after intercourse Phosphorus 6c
- Bloody discharge, lower abdomen feels heavy and sore, intercourse painful China 6c
- Copious discharge between periods, feeling drained and weak Cocculus 6c
- Brown watery discharge with strands of mucus in it Nitric ac. 6c
- Discharge milky and itchy Calcarea 6c
Grape-like outpouchings of lining of cervical canal which occasionally bleed after intercourse, between periods, or after Menopause, or increase menstrual bleeding; discharge is usually heavy and watery. Since cancer of the cervix (see Cancer) produces similar symptoms, ask your medical doctor to investigate; surgical removal of polyps is a quick, painless procedure, but a D and C (dilatation of cervix and curettage or scraping of lining of uterus under general anaesthetic) may also be necessary to exclude possibility of more serious causes of bleeding (see Uterus Problems).
Specific remedy to be taken 4 times daily for up to 14 days
- Before or after surgical removal of polyps Calcarea 6c