- Types of cervical erosion
- Symptoms of cervical erosion
- Diagnosis of erosion
- Erosion of the cervix: treatment
- Cervical erosion and pregnancy
- Folk methods of erosion treatment in support of traditional medicine
Erosion of the cervix is the most frequently diagnosed pathology of the female reproductive system by gynecologists. Because of the limited amount of reliable information and the abundance of rumors, many women perceive such a diagnosis as a sentence, equating it with, if not to a cancer, then, at least, to its harbinger. At the same time, doctors do not consider many types of erosion, even for diseases, having long excluded them from the international reference book. What is erosion, what is it fraught with and what measures are required to be taken - the most frequent questions asked of the doctor-gynecologist.
Types of cervical erosion
Erosion of the cervix is called any disruption of the normal state of its mucous membranes. Such violations can include mechanical or chemical damage, as well as abnormal development of the epithelium of the mucosa. To denote pathologies of development, modern medicine has singled out a separate term - ectopia of the cervix, although many doctors still call them erosions. According to the nature and causes of erosion, they belong to two main groups:
- true erosion;
- ectopia or pseudo-erosion.
In addition, the classification of true erosion can be refined and their features:
- An ectropion is the displacement of the cervical inner tissue outwards and forwards as a result of strong mechanical pressure, usually occurring in the process of severe labor or late abortion;
- Endometriosis is the vertical displacement and the imposition of mucous surfaces of the cavity and cervix of various types in genetics of the type of tissues;
- Leukoplakia refers to the ossification and hardening of multilayer epithelium on any part of the mucosa;
- A separate group of erosions are polyps of the cervical canal and cervix and vest genital warts.
Ectopic 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 for women who have left adolescence, if the separation of different types of epithelium of the uterus did not occur naturally. The normal structure of the mucous membranes implies the delineation of the zones of single-layered epithelium that covers the surface of the uterine canal, and the multilayered lining of the vaginal cervical region. In different age periods, the border zone of these regions is located in different parts of the uterine system, but their superposition is not typical, it is this disorder that is called pseudo-erosion, since when viewed uncharacteristic of the smooth, pale pink epithelium of the vagina, foreign tissue can be mistaken for damage to the mucous 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 absence of symptoms.
Often this pathology is congenital and does not affect the normal sexual life, pregnancy and childbirth, which makes it possible to consider it as a variation in the development of the female reproductive system. After assessing the condition of the surfaces and making sure that there is no risk of tissue degeneration or the development of inflammatory processes, the gynecologist can completely abandon the appointment of any treatment, recommending only regular observation. But this feature must be remembered for the parents of girls who are sure that all the problems of the sexual system begin only with the beginning of the intimate life, and the first visit to the gynecological office can be postponed until this period. Congenital erosion can cause discomfort even in the period of the appearance of the first menstruation, as well as the true, resulting from the transmitted sexual infection.
True erosion of the cervix
The essence of the process of erosion is most accurately indicated by the very translation of this concept - "corroding" or "destruction." Any rejection of cells of the uterine mucous membranes, found during gynecological examination, a preliminary diagnosis refers to erosion. A brightly colored spot, which differs from the general background of the inner surface, is an occasion for specifying a detailed examination.
Symptoms of cervical erosion
Erosion of the cervix of this or that species is present in every second woman - this is a proven fact. The most common misconception is the view that erosion is not determined by anything other than laboratory research or gynecological examination. In fact, with a careful attitude to the body, signs of true erosion are not so difficult to notice:
- discharge from the vagina with impregnations of brown or yellowish color, not coincident with the menstrual cycle;
- pain during sexual intercourse, unusual dryness or discomfort;
- burning, pain, itching with urination.
Diagnosis of erosion
After the initial examination, carried out manually using mirrors that give grounds for suspecting erosion, the patient is asked to undergo a series of tests to confirm and refine the form of the deviation. It should be taken into account that the result of the examination is only a determination of the presence of a deviation in the structure of the vaginal mucosa and cervix, and to orientate towards it, especially panic, it is not worth it. 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 the definition of erosion, analyzes for all types of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are conducted simultaneously, since the symptoms of many such infections have similar forms.
Types of research to clarify the diagnosis of "erosion"
The patient is assigned a number of tests based on the results of his own observations and examination of the doctor:
- study of a vagina smear for pathogenic flora;
- complete colposcopy;
- cytological analysis;
- PCR assays for infection;
- blood tests;
- biopsy to exclude the possibility of tumor degeneration into malignant.
Bacteriological analysis conducted by a female counselor is one of the most popular diagnostic methods due to the availability and the absence of the need for complex equipment. The examination is carried out visually using a microscope. The same factor is also negative, since the accuracy of the study is too much dependent on the competence of the employee conducting a study of the swab taken from the vagina. The purpose of the study was 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, though not directly related to erosion itself, is necessary, since the use of many medications prescribed to the patient can provoke concomitant erosions or even processes that caused it. In the case of the definition of candidiasis, vaginosis and other bacterial diseases, the choice of form and methods of erosion treatment is carried out with their consideration.
Cytological analysis is a study that is recommended to be performed every year by any woman who does not even notice any ailments in her condition. This study of cells, conducted on the basis of extensive scrapings from several areas of the cervix, giving a clear picture of all the processes occurring in tissues at the cellular level. The result of the study will be the detection of cells with a changed condition or their non-detection. The basis for referring to the additional examination will be only the first conclusion, since the cytological analysis, like all methods of visual investigation, essentially depends on the quality of tissue sampling for the study. The absence of a violation of the structure of cells in this sample can only testify to the purity of one site, and not the state as a whole. But deviations from normal development, revealed during this study, are an essential reason for further analysis, as it indicates changes in the structure of cells that may be a sign of tissue degeneration into poor-quality ones.
Extensive calcroscopic examination
Calposcopy is another visual examination, but already with the help of a modern microscope and with the use of chemical reagents. The purpose of such a study is to clarify the presence of cells altered by erosion and the boundaries of their localization. The solutions used in this study change color depending on the structure of the medium on which it is applied, which allows the physician to compile a detailed picture of the pathological processes taking place on the mucous membrane. The main of the solutions used are two: acetic acid in a concentration of 3% and Lugol's solution containing iodine. Both solutions, despite the apparent caustic composition, are safe. A fairly long procedure, in which the doctor studies in detail all the suspicious areas with the aid of a mirror, causes unpleasant sensations only if there are actually lesions or ulcers on the surface of the uterine wall. In this case, the patient will experience a slight burning sensation. It is the result of the calposcopic examination that is considered the main one for the formulation of an accurate diagnosis of the presence of a foreign pathological inflammatory or tumor formation.
A study of a tissue sample taken from a suspicious surface of the cervical surface or cavity from the inside. Biopsies of the cervix are often supplemented with colposcopy, when the doctor intentionally takes the altered site for examination. Under the control of the endoscope with hysteroscopy, absolutely painless microoperations are performed to remove a number of living cells from the uterine cavity for detailed study. The appointment to a biopsy should not be intimidating, since doctors often designate this type of research as a safety net to accurately determine the structure of the eroded area.
This analysis is considered the last in a series of examinations of a patient with suspected cervical cancer, it is based on the results of the final diagnosis and a treatment card is drawn up. The main stages of histology are the fences of the material and their subsequent study using a number of specially prepared substances. The results of histological research allow not only to understand the current structure of cells, but also to determine the causes of their degeneration, describe the development perspective and most precisely formulate prescriptions to counteract the processes of structural modification, if recognized as negative. A full histological study in the laboratory takes up to two weeks, so doctors warn of possible fraud from one-day clinics offering to do such work within a day.
Erosion of the cervix: treatment
The purpose of treatment is possible only after a fully refined diagnosis, determining the goodness of the tumor and the course of treatment for all concurrent diseases, especially infectious diseases. Methods of treating erosions are peculiar operations, and their implementation is possible only in an absolutely clean environment. Therefore, the timing 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 effect;
- chemical coagulation.
The most gentle method is radio wave surgery, which does not require direct contact with the affected area. Treatment of cells with a directed radio wave leads to their complete evaporation, leaving no visible traces in the erosion area. Although the full recovery period, during which periodic observation is required, lasts a month, the patient does not feel the consequences of the operation even immediately after her. Unfortunately, not all clinics have equipment to provide such services.
Cauterization by Solkovagin, the so-called method of chemical coagulation, is also practically painless, but it does not give a complete guarantee for the destruction of pathology, besides, it is used only for erosions of small size, more often in nulliparous girls. The course of treatment consists of several procedures, appointed on an individual schedule.
Equipment for laser therapy is not always available to all clinics. At the moment, this method is considered to be the most advanced and widespread, since after treatment of pathologically altered tissue on the surface of the cervix does not leave traces. In case of treatment of large erosions in patients who still plan to have children, this method is preferred, since it gives the maximum chance for further ability to bear and problem-free birth.
Cryotherapy is one of the most common methods of erosion removal. Practically painless procedure, in which the affected area is burned with liquid nitrogen, can be accompanied only by a slight sense of discomfort. The recovery period, during which physical activity and sexual contacts are contraindicated, lasts for a month after the operation. Non-viable discharges, even with splotches of blood during this period, are considered the norm, although all changes in the condition should be reported urgently to the doctor. The disadvantage of the method is the lack of assurance of removal of dense tumor formations located in tissues at great depth, therefore it is used only for flat surface lesions.
The most reliable method, which guarantees complete removal of the tumor, although not always in one procedure, is diathermocoagulation or cauterization by current. Affected tissues are literally burned, so the procedure is accompanied by a characteristic smell and sensations. Reacting to the discharge of muscle tissue is actively reduced, so many women compare the procedure with labor contractions. The method of diathermocoagulation is used in almost all health facilities of the profile, although recently, in connection with a large list of side effects and consequences, doctors are increasingly recommending patients, especially those who still plan to have children, to seek more sparing, albeit more expensive, procedures at clinics with better technical support. The method causes serious damage to the mucosa and leaves scars, which subsequently affects the ability to bear fruit and neck injuries in childbirth. The cervix of the uterus 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 organs entering the genitourinary system, erosion is the object of close monitoring by a 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 the presence of all kinds of problems and their cure before conception increases the likelihood of a successful pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby.
Folk methods of erosion treatment in support of traditional medicine
Self-treatment of major true erosion of the cervix is impossible, it requires mandatory medical intervention, removal and control with the help of modern technology. All methods of traditional medicine are only preventive or auxiliary, for example, in cases where the operation is postponed for objective reasons. But the use of folk remedies reduces the risk of erosion.
- Sea-buckthorn oil as a tampon impregnation has good antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and prevents further spread of the eroded area.
- The infusion of calendula is used for syringing the vagina in cases of congenital erosion and with mechanical damage to the mucosa. The drug serves as the prevention of many STDs.
- Eastern medicine actively recommends for the healing of all kinds of wounds, including on the internal planes of the vagina and cervix, the mummy. The agent is used as an impregnation for tampons or cauterization of affected areas if they are accessed.
- Alcohol tincture of the peony is taken as inside a teaspoon 3-4 times a day, and externally. For syringing and moxibustion, the remedy is diluted 1/25 with warm boiled water.
- Recipes based on scarlet have long been known for healing properties. To create a solution for the impregnation of tampons, the plant juice is mixed in equal proportions with castor oil and honey. The tampon is used at night, the warming sensation for this method is 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 compliance with the main rules of sexual culture, one sexual partner and the use of protective methods of contraception.