Cervical ectropion is one of the most frequent diseases in gynecology. So, what is it? What causes it? And what is its treatment?
What is cervical erosion?
Cervical ectropion (mucous membrane disorder) is one of the most widespread gynaecological diseases. Millions of women are diagnosed every year. So, what is cervical erosion and what causes it? What is the treatment? To have a clear idea of the causes and ways of cervical ectropion establishment let’s have a careful look at the cervix uteri structure and its changes during the monthly period. (By the way, you can calculate your period with the help of our calendar – “the calendar of conception and days for safe sex.”)
The normal cervix uteri structure
Cervix uteri is a hollow body organ, which, for the most part, consists of muscle tissue. Outside it’s covered with endometrium – a special tissue that can easily change and help a fertilized egg to develop. The shape of cervix uteri resembles a pear turned upside down. Between the uterine body and vagina three’s a cervix or a special canal which connects these two organs. The inside of the cervix is covered with a special tissue – columnar epithelium the cells of which are firmly against each other and are set in one layer only. The part of it outside near the vagina is covered with stratified epithelium the cells of which create numerous layers. It has the same structure as the vagina mucous membrane and covers all the area of the cervix till the outside introitus of the cervix uteri. Here it connects with the other kind of tissue – columnar epithelium. This tissue covers the cervix inside the canal which leads to the uterine cavity. It’s normal when there’s a gradual transition from one kind of epithelium to the other. Columnar epithelium of the cervix canal secretes special cervix mucus which changes its protective properties under the influence of ovarian hormones. In the middle of the monthly period the cervix mucus consists mostly of water, becomes less viscous so that spermatozoa can easily penetrate through it.
Why does cervical erosion take place?
The main cause for it is an infection. Among them are staphylococcus, streptococcus, collibacillus and causative agents of veneral latent infections such as mycoplasma, ureaplasma (our article “Ureplasma can be completely cured”), gardnerella vaginalis and chlamydia (our article “Chlamydia and its causes”).
Cervix uteri infection and cervical erosion can also be caused by various microtraumas, hysterocervicorrhesis during the childbirth, cervical traumas during the abortion or inflammatory colpopathy and adnexal affection as well. Local inflammation of the mucous membrane accompanies hypersecretion or leukorrhea secretion (thick, whitish vaginal discharge). It leads to additional irritation and damages the normal structure of the cervical mucosa. Epithelium disappears, the cervical mucosa surface strips and creates the erosion. It begins to bleed and can easily catch an infection. At the same time there can also be a blood vessels injury and the woman will complain of blood discharge after the sexual intercourse.
So, it is the contraction of the cervical erosion. It has an irregular shape, is of bright red color and bleeds when you touch it. In 1-2 weeks the true cervical ectropion can disappear or turn into the cervical pseudo erosion and the defect of stratified squamous epithelium will be replaced by columnar epithelium of the cervical canal.
When the gynecologist tells the woman that the latter has the cervical erosion, she speaks not about the true ectroption, because it exists only within 1-3 weeks and its moment is very difficult to detect. So, the gynecologist usually speaks about ectopia or the cervical pseudo erosion.
The cervical pseudo erosion is called the pathological damage of the cervical mucosa, in which usual stratified epithelium outside the Cervix uteri is substituted by columnar epithelium of the cervical canal. There isn’t any epithelium defect in this disease. Simple epithelium of the cervical canal gets into quite a different environment. Under the acid environment of the vagina and other causes named below epithelium cells begin to expand. Thus, the nidus of the cervical erosion begins to progress.
What can cause the cervical ectroption
- Genital infections, vaginal dysbacteriosis, inflammations of female genital sphere and sexually transmitted diseases such as trichomoniasis, clamidiosis, herpes simplex virus and so on.
- Early sexual initiation. The mucous membrane of female genital organs finally develops by the age of 20-23. If you have an infection during this process, you’ll probably have the cervical erosion.
- Cervical traumas. Child birth or abortions mainly cause such traumas. As cervical uteri serves to let a baby pass through it. That’s why it often lacerates.
- Various problems with your hormones or endocrine profile.
- Decrease in immunity.
So, most of the red areas around the external orifice of uterus are called the erosion and are considered as benign changes. That’s why genecologists often name the erosion as ectopia or cervical pseudo erosion. Ectopia can be located in different areas. Sometimes the cervical ectroption can cover all the cervical uteri, but more often it’s situated around the external orifice of uterus or only single spots of columnar epithelium can be seen on the solid area of stratified epithelium.
How can the cervical erosion be cured?
Nowadays there’re several kinds of treatment of cervical erosion. The choice will depend on the stage of the erosion, its structure and the damaged area. The main purpose of such a treatment to remove pathologically changed tissue. If there’s any inflammation of the vagina or cervical uteri, the first thing to do will be to detect the infectious agent and take a course of the antimicrobial therapy.
There’re chemical coagulant such as Solkovagin and Vagotil which are used to cure the erosion and are applied on the cervical mucosa. Then, the couse for the mucous membrane regeneration takes place.
But operative and physiotherapies are thought to be the most effective methods of the cervical erosion treatment. Among them there’re a diathermocoagulation (electrocoagulation) i.e. electric cautery, a cryodestruction (cryogenic intervention) i.e. a freezing method with the usage of liquid nitrogen, a laser coagulation i.e. laser treatment and surgery.
When there’s a cryodestruction, the cervical uteri is treated with liquid nitrogen of the ultralow temperature. The damaged area is frozen out until the sound tissue. The method is painless and doesn’t leave any scars. The cost of the cryodestruction is about $20. Suppositories such as Gexecon (an antisepsic topical product) should be taken before and after the diathermocoagulation. Suppositories “Gexecon” can be used during the pregnancy and lactation cycle, as it has no contraindications.
If you’ve not found in the article everything you’ve been looking for, gynecologist specialized in the cervical erosion treatment will definitely help you. And we wish you good health and great wealth!