- Types of cervical erosion
- Symptoms of cervical erosion
- Diagnosis of erosion
- Cervical erosion: treatment
- Cervical erosion and pregnancy
- Traditional methods of treating erosion to help traditional medicine
Cervical erosion is the pathology of the female reproductive system most often diagnosed by gynecologists. Due to the limited amount of reliable information and the abundance of rumors, many women perceive such a diagnosis as a sentence, equating it, if not to cancer, then at least to its forerunner. At the same time, doctors do not attribute many types of erosion even to diseases, having long since excluded them from the international directory. What is erosion, what is it fraught with and what measures are required to be taken - the most frequent questions asked of the gynecologist.
Types of cervical erosion
Erosion of the cervix is called any violation of the normal state of its mucous membranes. Such violations may include mechanical or chemical damage, as well as abnormal development of mucosal epithelium. To denote pathologies of development, modern medicine has identified a separate term - cervical ectopia, although many doctors still call them erosions. By the nature and causes of erosion belong to two main groups:
- true erosion;
- ectopia or pseudo-erosion.
In addition, the classification of true erosion can be clarified and their features:
- Ectropion is called the displacement of the cervical inner tissue outward and forward as a result of strong mechanical pressure, as a rule, occurring in the process of heavy labor or late abortions;
- Endometriosis is called vertical displacement and the imposition of a different genetically-type tissue of the mucous surfaces of the cavity and cervix;
- Leukoplakia is called ossification and hardening of multi-layered epithelium in any part of the mucous membrane;
- Polyps of the cervical canal and cervix and viral warts are considered to be a separate group of erosions.
Ectopia of the cervix or pseudo-erosion
The exclusion of this term from the official list of diseases speaks for itself: ectopia is not a disease. Such a diagnosis is made to women who have emerged from adolescence, if the separation of different types of uterine epithelium has not occurred naturally. The normal structure of the mucous membranes involves the separation of zones of single-layer epithelium, which covers the surface of the uterine canal, and the multi-layered, which is lined with the vaginal region of the cervix. In different age periods, the border zone of these areas is located on different parts of the uterine system, but their imposition is not typical, and this violation is called pseudo-erosion, because when viewed unusual for the smooth, pale pink vaginal epithelium, foreign tissue may be mistaken for damage to the mucosal layer . The danger of such a deviation of the structure causes only in the case of the development of the inflammatory process, provoked by other factors, in their absence, the woman most often does not know about the pathology due to the lack of symptoms.
Often this pathology is innate and does not affect the normal sex life, pregnancy and childbirth, which suggests that it is the variability of the development of the female reproductive system. After assessing the state of the surfaces and making sure that there is no risk of tissue degeneration or the development of inflammatory processes, the gynecologist can completely refuse the appointment of any treatment, recommending only regular observation. But this particular must be remembered for parents of girls, confident that all the problems of the reproductive system begin only with the beginning of intimate life, and the first visit to the gynecological office can be postponed until this period. Congenital erosion can cause inconvenience even in the period of the appearance of the first menstruation, as well as the true one that has arisen as a result of a sexually transmitted infection.
True cervical erosion
The essence of the erosion process is most clearly indicated by the translation itself of this concept - “corrosive” or “destruction”. Any rejection of uterine mucous membrane cells detected during a gynecological examination, a preliminary diagnosis refers to erosion. A brightly colored spot, which differs from the general background of the inner surface, is a reason for the appointment of a detailed survey.
Symptoms of cervical erosion
Erosion of the cervix of a particular type is present in every second woman - this is a proven fact. The most common misconception is the opinion that erosion is not determined by anything other than laboratory tests or gynecological examination. In fact, with careful attention to the body, signs of true erosion are not so difficult to notice:
- vaginal discharge with patches of brown or yellowish, not coinciding with the menstrual cycle;
- pain during intercourse, unusual dryness or discomfort;
- burning, pain, itching when urinating.
Diagnosis of erosion
After the initial manual examination with the help of mirrors, giving grounds to suspect erosion, the patient is asked to undergo a series of tests to confirm and clarify the form of the deviation. It should be borne in mind that the result of the examination is only the determination of the presence of a deviation in the structure of the mucous membrane of the vagina and cervix, and it is not worthwhile to focus on it, let alone panic. Benign or malignant, the presence or absence of an inflammatory process, as well as the need for medical intervention and its urgency can only show a detailed and comprehensive examination. In addition to determining erosion, tests for all types of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also carried out, since the symptoms of many such infections have similar forms.
Types of studies to clarify the diagnosis of "erosion"
According to the results of her own observations and examination of the doctor, the patient is prescribed a series of tests:
- examination of a vaginal smear for pathogen flora;
- full colposcopy;
- cytological analysis;
- PCR tests for infections;
- blood tests;
- biopsy to exclude the possibility of tumor transformation into a malignant one.
Bacteriological analysis, conducted by the employee of the women's clinic, is one of the most popular diagnostic methods due to the availability and lack of need for complex equipment. The study is conducted visually with a microscope. The same factor is also negative, since the accuracy of the study depends too much on the competence of the employee conducting the test taken from the smear vagina. The purpose of the study is to count the number of leukocytes in the volume of the medium, to determine the presence of fungi and infectious agents. Such a preliminary analysis, although not directly related to erosion itself, is necessary, since the use of many drugs prescribed to a patient can provoke concomitant erosion or even its processes. In the case of determining candidiasis, vaginosis and other bacterial diseases, the selection of the form and treatment of erosion is carried out with their account.
Cytological analysis is a study that is recommended to be performed annually by any woman who does not even notice any ailments in her condition. This is a study of cells, conducted on the basis of an extensive scraping from several parts of the cervix, which gives a clear picture of all the processes occurring in the tissues at the cellular level. The result of the study will be the identification of cells with an altered state or their non-detection. The basis for referral for additional examination will be only the first conclusion, since cytological analysis, like all methods of visual research, significantly depends on the quality of the tissue sampling for research. The absence of a violation of the structure of cells in this sample can only indicate the purity of one site, and not the state as a whole. On the other hand, deviations from normal development identified in the course of this study are a significant basis for further analyzes, since it indicates changes in the cell structure, which may be a sign of tissue degeneration into poor quality ones.
Extensive calposcopic examination
Calposcopy is another visual examination, but with the help of a modern microscope and with the use of chemical reagents. The purpose of this study is to clarify the presence of erosion-altered cells and the boundaries of their localization. The solutions used in this study change color depending on the structure of the medium on which they are applied, which allows the doctor to draw up a detailed picture of the pathological processes occurring on the mucous membrane. There are two main solutions used: acetic acid at a concentration of 3% and Lugol solution containing iodine. Both solutions, despite the seemingly caustic composition, are safe. A rather lengthy procedure, in which a doctor examines all suspicious areas in detail using a mirror, causes discomfort only if there are injuries or ulcers on the surface of the walls of the uterus. In this case, the patient will experience a slight burning sensation. It is the result of calposcopic examination that is considered essential for making an accurate diagnosis of the presence of a foreign abnormal inflammatory or neoplastic formation.
Examination of a tissue sample taken from a part of the cervix uterus or cavity that seemed suspicious from the inside. A biopsy of the cervix is often supplemented with colposcopy, when the doctor deliberately picks up the modified area for examination. Under the control of the endoscope, during hysteroscopy, an absolutely painless micro-operation is performed on removing a certain number of living cells from the uterus for detailed research. The appointment of a biopsy should not be frightening, since doctors often prescribe this type of research as a safety net to determine the exact structure of the site damaged by erosion.
This analysis is considered to be the last in a series of examinations of a patient with suspected cervical cancer; it is based on its results that the final diagnosis is made and a treatment map is drawn up. The main stages of histology are fences of the material and their subsequent study using a number of specially prepared substances. The results of the histological study allow not only to understand the current cell structure, but also to determine the reasons for their degeneration, to describe the future development and most accurately draw up instructions for counteracting the processes of modification of the structure, if it is found to be negative. A complete histological examination in the laboratory takes up to two weeks, so doctors warn of possible frauds by one-day clinics offering to perform such work within 24 hours.
Cervical erosion: treatment
Prescribing treatment is possible only after a fully specified diagnosis, determining whether a tumor is benign and undergoing a course of treatment for all parallel current diseases, especially infectious ones. Erosion treatment methods are peculiar operations, and they can be performed only in an absolutely clean environment. Therefore, the time is determined in accordance with the menstrual cycle, in the first week after the end of menstruation.
The main methods of treatment of erosion are:
- laser therapy;
- radio wave exposure;
- chemical coagulation.
The most gentle method is radio wave surgery, which does not require direct contact with the affected area. Treatment of cells directed radio wave leads to their complete evaporation, leaving no visible marks in the area of erosion. Although the full recovery period, during which periodic observation is required, lasts a month, the patient does not feel the effects of the operation even immediately after it is performed. Unfortunately, not all clinics have the equipment to provide such services.
Burning with Solkovagin, the so-called chemical coagulation method, is also practically painless, but it does not give a full guarantee for the elimination of pathology, moreover, it is used only for erosions of a small size, more often in non-giving girls. The course of treatment consists of several procedures prescribed on an individual schedule.
Equipment for laser therapy also have not all clinics. At the moment, this method is considered the most advanced and widespread, since after treatment of pathologically changed tissue on the surface of the cervix does not leave any traces. In the case of treatment of large erosions in patients who are still planning to have children, this method is prioritized, as it gives the maximum chance for further ability to bear and trouble-free childbirth.
Cryotherapy is one of the most common methods for removing erosion. A practically painless procedure, in which the affected area is cauterized by liquid nitrogen, can be accompanied only by a slight feeling of discomfort. The recovery period, during which physical activity and sex are contraindicated, lasts a month after surgery. The scanty discharge even with blood interspersed during this period is considered the norm, although all changes in the condition should be immediately reported to the doctor. The disadvantage of the method is the lack of guarantees for the removal of dense tumor formations located in the tissues at a great depth, so it is used only for flat surface lesions.
The most reliable method to guarantee complete removal of the tumor, although not always in one procedure, is diathermocoagulation or cauterization with current. The affected tissues literally burn out, so the procedure is accompanied by a characteristic smell and sensations. Discharge-responsive muscle tissue is actively reduced, so many women compare the procedure with labor pains. The diathermocoagulation method is used in almost all medical institutions of the profile, although lately, due to the large list of side effects and consequences, doctors are increasingly recommending that patients, especially those who are still planning to have children, seek more benign, although more expensive, procedures in clinics with the best technical support. The method causes serious damage to the mucous membranes and leaves scars, which subsequently affects the ability to bear the fetus and injuries of the cervix during labor. The cervix with a scar loses its elasticity, becoming prone to rupture.
Cervical erosion and pregnancy
The presence of erosion does not mean that a woman will not become a mother. Naturally, like any damage to the organs of the genitourinary system, erosion is the object of close observation by the gynecologist. Depending on the type of erosion, its size and location, treatment can be prescribed both before and after pregnancy. Doctors warn that a planned pregnancy with a preliminary examination for all types of problems and their cure before conception increases the likelihood of a successful pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby.
Traditional methods of treating erosion to help traditional medicine
Self-treatment of large true cervical erosion is impossible, it requires mandatory medical intervention, removal and control with the help of modern technology. All methods of traditional medicine are only prophylactic or auxiliary, for example, in cases where operations are postponed for objective reasons. But the use of folk remedies repeatedly reduces the risk of erosion.
- Sea buckthorn oil as a tampon impregnation has good anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and prevents the further spread of the area prone to erosion.
- Infusion of calendula is used for vaginal douching in cases of congenital erosion and mechanical damage to the mucous membrane. The tool is the prevention of many STDs.
- Oriental medicine actively recommends for the healing of all types of wounds, including on the inner planes of the vagina and cervix, mummy. The tool is used as an impregnation for tampons or cauterization of the affected areas, if they have access.
- Alcoholic tincture of peony dodging is taken both by mouth for a teaspoon 3-4 times a day, and externally. For douching and cauterization, dilute 1/25 with warm boiled water.
- Aloe-based recipes have long been known for their healing properties. To create a solution for the impregnation of tampons, the juice of the plant is mixed in equal proportions with castor oil and honey. The tampon is used at night, the warming sensations for this method are normal.
The basis for the prevention of any disease of the female genital area is a regular visit to the gynecologist, at least once a year and the observance of the main rules of sexual culture, one sexual partner and the use of protective methods of contraception.