Cervix is part of the lower uterus that connects the vagina with the rest of the uterus. When we talk about the friable cervix, we address the issue of friable tissue, which means that it’s very prone to irritation, bleeding, and tears. Basically, when your cervix bleeds easily and gets irritated relatively often, it’s called a friable cervix. In most cases, friable tissue of the cervix is a sign of some other condition that needs treatment.

Main Symptoms of Friable Cervix

There are certain symptoms that can point to the friable cervix issue, such as:

  • Painful and uncomfortable intercourse, sometimes followed by bleeding
  • Unusual vaginal discharge and spotting
  • Burning and itching sensations in the vagina

There may be other symptoms as well, but this varies for each affected individual and the thing that caused it in the first place. It’s also worth noting that the mentioned symptoms don’t only point to the friable cervix, but they could be symptoms of other issues, too. Sometimes, women will have no obvious symptoms at all and only learn about friable cervix after having their regular pelvic exam.

Potential Causes of Friable Cervix

Unrecognizable Female Doctor Gynecologist Working With Patient.

Keep in mind that the reason why the cervix bleeds easily or its tissue gets torn and irritated can’t always be clearly defined. However, there are some causes that are likely to trigger this condition.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Cervix inflammation, also known as cervicitis, is most often caused by an STD. While some STDs won’t show any symptoms, others are accompanied by post-intercourse and between-periods bleeding as well as vaginal discharge. The most common STDs that could cause friable tissue of the cervix include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and trichomoniasis.

Vaginal Atrophy

Another potential cause of friable cervix is the thinning and shrinking of the vaginal lining that ultimately shortens and narrows down the vagina. This condition, known as vaginal atrophy, is often caused by hormonal imbalance and could lead to painful intercourse and urinary infections.

Hormonal Imbalance

Progesterone and estrogen are ovary-produced hormones, and they have a huge role in managing the female reproductive system. Estrogen, in particular, is crucial for vaginal health. When estrogen drops, all sorts of potential issues could occur. For starters, estrogen could drop because of hormonal fluctuations due to:

  • Pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding
  • Having to remove ovaries surgically
  • Perimenopause and menopause
  • Some meds and treatments for cancer

When estrogen levels are low, women can experience vaginal thinning and dryness, as well as inflammation and painful intercourse. It’s also possible for other symptoms to occur, such as urinary incontinence, depression and anxiety, irregular periods, night sweats and hot flashes, concentrations issues, etc.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Friable Cervix

The common practice involves a thorough pelvic exam during which the doctor will look for anything unusual. A Pap smear will be necessary to test the cervical cells and check for cancer. Based on the results and your symptoms, different diagnostical tests will be suggested.

  • Colposcopy will examine the cervix with a colposcope, which is a tool similar to a magnifying glass with light.
  • If there’s any suspicion of cancer, a biopsy will be done to get some sample cells for the lab testing.
  • In case of STDs, you will have to do urine and blood tests.
  • A blood test is also used when testing hormonal levels.

Once the reason why your cervix bleeds easily or gets irritated and sensitive is determined, your doctor will suggest the best course of action treatment-wise. Obviously, in order to treat friable cervix, you’ll have to treat the underlying issue that’s causing it. This could take time, which is why your doctor may recommend some relief creams and lubricants.

Antibiotics can help treat chlamydia and gonorrhea, but the damage caused by the latter could be permanent. Herpes is incurable, but there are treatment options for reducing the strength and frequency of the flareups. Meds are also used for treating trichomoniasis.

When it comes to hormonal imbalance and vaginal atrophy, there are different kinds of treatments for different kinds of issues. Oils and lotions can help with dryness. Using a dilator can help with reducing pain during intercourse. To strengthen vaginal and cervical tissues and restore the balance, the doctor may recommend either oral or topical hormonal therapy.

In case you’re dealing with a friable cervix because of the cancer treatment or certain meds you’re taking, the condition should pass once you’re done with your therapy.

Friable Cervix in Pregnancy

Due to the fluctuating hormonal levels, it’s not uncommon for women to experience a friable cervix in pregnancy. If you notice any bleeding while pregnant, you should report to your doctor as soon as possible. In general, a friable cervix in pregnancy is no reason to worry too much as it shouldn’t pose any harm to your baby. But, your doctor will probably want to test for cervical insufficiency, a condition that causes weak cervical tissue. This condition could cause premature delivery, but it’s also easily spotted in ultrasound and successfully treated with meds. Sometimes, early signs of pregnancy can be similar to those of friable cervix. If you’re pregnant and these symptoms don’t go away after entering the second trimester, you should see your doctor for a checkup.

Is Prevention Possible?

Doctor Talking With Female Patient in Doctors Office.

It’s always possible to reduce the risk of getting a friable cervix. The following practices could help:

  • Getting an HPV shot is a good protection against HPV strains infections, which could lead to genital and cervical cancers. Women between 11 and 45 years of age could get this shot.
  • By having regular Pap smears done, any potential abnormalities can be spotted and addressed early.
  • In order to minimize the risk of getting STDs, make sure to use condoms during sex.
  • Getting STI tests on a regular is important for all sexually active people as the symptoms don’t show up instantly.
  • Not smoking betters the chances of managing HPV infections, which could turn into cancer.

It’s not impossible for the friable cervix to return to normal on its own without having to go through any treatment at all. Of course, this all depends on the causes that triggered this condition in the first place. In that sense, the treatment options will also differ. The doctor will have to take your overall health and the underlying cause into consideration in order to choose the best treatment for you. It’s important to disclose everything you feel to your doctor, including your lifestyle choices, so that they can provide you with the best medical help.

Most of the conditions known to trigger friable cervix are easily treatable. If you listen to your body, you will notice when something’s not right, which is the sign to visit a doctor. After all, some infections that are otherwise easy to deal with could end up leaving serious consequences when completely ignored. If you’re worried about any symptoms in particular or your overall GYN health, feel free to reach out to us at University Park OBGYN. You can count on the best gynecologist in Florida, top-notch service, comfortable environment, and empathetic approach.