Erosion of the cervix during pregnancy is a violation of the integrity of its mucous membrane, found during the bearing of a child.
In this case, the normal squamous epithelium of the cervical pharynx is replaced by the cylindrical epithelium of the cervical canal. Mostly, erosion is a benign process that does not threaten a woman with serious problems.
The fact that the pathology is often diagnosed during the gestation period is due to the meager symptoms of the disease, so the woman does not go to the doctor for lack of complaints.
A thorough medical examination after conception reveals the presence of an erosive process.
Symptoms of cervical erosion during pregnancy
The clinical picture of erosion is hidden. Therefore, if there is no pregnancy, the pathology is detected only at a routine examination by a gynecologist or if problems arise in the work of the genitourinary system.
However, as statistics show, the symptoms of erosion begin to manifest themselves with greater force just after the conception of a child. The reason for this is a change in the hormonal background and an increase in the content of sex hormones in the body. It often happens that when contacting a gynecologist about the disturbing symptoms of erosion, a woman is found to be pregnant in the early stages.
The following signs are cause for concern:
The appearance of bloody discharge after intercourse;
Discomfort, expressed in a pulling feeling of pain in the lower abdomen;
The presence of pathological discharge in the intervals between menstruation. Their character can be either mucous or purulent. This is due to the fact that inflammation joins the erosive process;
Feeling of itching and burning in the vulva and in the vagina.
These signs can be observed both in combination and separately. However, it is they who usually force a woman to see a doctor.
Causes of cervical erosion during pregnancy
The causes of the erosive process that manifested during or before pregnancy must be clarified without fail. This will optimize the therapeutic regimen, as it will make it possible to eradicate the provoking factor.
Among the most common causes of the development of a pathological process in the cervix during childbearing, the following are distinguished:
Hormonal fluctuations in a woman’s body. Moreover, those that do not occur smoothly, but abruptly, are especially dangerous;
Sexually transmitted diseases. Among those are chlamydia, ureplasmosis, gonorrhea, papillomatosis, trichomoniasis and genital herpes. In the event that microorganisms penetrate the epithelial cells, this greatly complicates the erosive process. In addition, the introduction of human papillomaviruses into the damaged layers of the cervix can lead to the development of malignant tumors;
Long-term use of oral contraceptives or other hormonal drugs used before pregnancy;
Early age of sexual intercourse;
Artificial termination of pregnancy. Regularly repeated abortions are especially dangerous;
Inflammatory diseases of the genital organs that are not infectious in nature;
Cancers of the reproductive system;
Decreased immune forces of the body;
Sexual violence, or rough sexual contacts, leading to injuries of the cervix;
Damage to the mucous membrane of the uterine os as a result of improper douching, or due to the installation of an intrauterine device, etc.;
Frequent stress loads on the body.
In addition, the combination of two factors, such as the presence of an inflammatory process and hormonal failure in the body, often leads to the fact that the disease is formed in women who have not given birth before, and in those who have not had any genital injuries.
Why is cervical erosion dangerous during pregnancy?
Planning for pregnancy must necessarily include the stage of a gynecological examination. It is in this way that it is most often possible to find out if there is an erosive area on the cervix. Inspection must be done, because during gestation, erosion can pose a certain danger. Mostly the threat comes down to the fact that the ulcerated surface is an excellent environment for the development of pathogens that cause inflammation.
Among the most dangerous consequences that erosion during pregnancy can lead to are the following:
Manifestation of inflammatory diseases, the therapy of which is complicated by the position of the woman;
Spontaneous abortion, especially in the first trimester;
The onset of preterm labor at a later gestational age;
Transformation of erosion into a malignant cancerous process;
Premature rupture of the fetal bladder, infection and death of the fetus.
That is why doctors strongly recommend undergoing erosion treatment even before the onset of pregnancy, if not surgically, then conservatively. The risk of increased growth of cervical erosion and malignancy of the process during childbearing increases due to the dramatically changing hormonal background. In addition, the increased load and stress on the woman’s body negatively affects the disease.
Compulsory treatment during pregnancy is subject to that erosion, the dimensions of which are large and there are already signs of inflammation. However, in medical practice, there are also such cases when erosion independently passes in the process of bearing a child.
Is pregnancy possible with cervical erosion?
A woman with erosion will not experience difficulties in conceiving a child. The disease does not affect the process of maturation or fertilization of the egg. However, if the pathology was detected before the onset of pregnancy, it is first necessary to cure erosion. You can plan a subsequent conception after a month, but only on condition that the healing process proceeds normally and without any complications.
When the erosion was of impressive size, and the restoration of tissues after its removal proceeds slowly, it is necessary to postpone the planning of pregnancy. In this case, a woman should not despair. As a rule, even the most complex regeneration process takes no more than six months.
Diagnosis of cervical erosion during pregnancy
The treatment process cannot be started without an accurate diagnosis. Research methods are determined by the doctor. One of the most common procedures is the identification of erosion during a gynecological examination using mirrors. In this case, a clear epithelial defect is detected. As a rule, on the examined surface of the uterine os, a clearly defined area is observed that has a red color. The area of erosion can be different.
Another method for examining an eroded area in order to determine the density of the affected tissue if malignancy is suspected is the Chrobak test, which consists in probing the affected area.
In addition, the doctor sends the biological material (smear from the erosion surface) to the laboratory for research. It consists in performing bacteriological and cytological analysis.
If there are any doubts and additional confirmation of the diagnosis is required, the patient is referred for a colposcopic examination. In the presence of erosion on the cervix, the doctor detects visible damage to the epithelial tissue with a stroma zone. At the same time, the bottom of true erosion is at a low level in the layer of columnar epithelium (or in squamous stratified epithelium).
If there is a suspicion that the process is of a malignant nature, tissue sampling for a biopsy is mandatory. This will detect the presence of atypical cells. Only a comprehensive study will make it possible to choose the most effective treatment regimen for a pregnant woman with erosion.
How to treat cervical erosion in pregnant women?
The therapeutic effect on a patient carrying a child should be different from the treatment of a non-pregnant woman. All the most popular techniques, including laser, cryodestruction or diathermocoagulation, can be used only after the child is born. Pregnancy is the period during which only the most gentle techniques in combination with supportive therapy can be used to eliminate the erosive process.
The primary goal is to stop the progression of the erosive process, preventing the development of inflammation. However, most experts are of the opinion that erosion should simply be observed. If it does not threaten the development of complications, then it does not make sense to treat it with medical methods.
In the event that a pregnant woman complains of a recurring burning sensation and the appearance of spotting, it is possible to use methyluracil in the form of vaginal suppositories. They are administered for two weeks, twice a day. It is recommended to use candles with sea buckthorn oil, also for 14 days. This will reduce the symptoms of the disease.
When the erosive process is complicated by inflammation, it is advisable to prescribe antiviral and antibacterial drugs. Their choice will be made by the attending physician on the basis of the obtained bacteriological culture and taking into account contraindications.
It is during pregnancy that a competent preventive program is important, since in connection with hormonal changes, the risk of developing the disease increases.
To avoid this, it is important to adhere to the following rules:
Visits to the gynecologist should take place strictly according to the schedule. You must not miss your scheduled appointment. This will allow not only to fully monitor the course of pregnancy, but also to detect the development of possible pathological processes in time;
The rules of intimate hygiene are important. Shower during pregnancy and change underwear regularly, at least once a day. It is necessary to use only linen made from natural fabrics;
If possible, you should not change sexual partners during pregnancy, as well as practice unprotected sexual intercourse;
If any deviations from the norm occur, you should immediately consult a doctor, without waiting for a pre-arranged visit. We are talking about the occurrence of a burning sensation and discomfort, the appearance of pathological discharge.
Due to the fact that erosion in some cases increases the risk of developing such serious complications as the addition of a purulent or inflammatory process, and also threatens with early termination of pregnancy, doctors strongly recommend getting rid of it before conception. A healthy cervix is one of the components of successful gestation and timely delivery.
If it suddenly happened that the pathological process was discovered after conception, then you should not panic and wait for negative consequences. Constant medical supervision, adequate preventive treatment with conservative methods and the absence of other diseases of the genital area in most cases are the key to a favorable pregnancy outcome without any consequences. It should be remembered that the erosive process is not a reason to terminate a pregnancy. However, it is highly desirable to undergo a cytological examination and colposcopy every three months in addition to standard medical examinations.
Most pregnant women with erosion give birth to absolutely healthy babies and do not experience difficulties during their bearing. In this case, only regular medical supervision is sufficient.
As for the behavior of a woman after she has given birth to a child, she should not neglect visiting a doctor. It is important to come for a gynecological examination two months after the baby was born and find out what happened to the erosion. If it does not disappear by itself, then it is necessary to carry out therapeutic measures. The choice of a specific technique is best left to the doctor.