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Dr. C.
Dr. C., Board Certified
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 3064
Experience:  30 yrs experience, awarding winning educator
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Can you have cervical ectopian and not be on the pill? I was

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Can you have cervical ectopian and not be on the pill? I was diagnosed today but I havnt been on the pill for about three years . I've had 3 children though .
Hi, It's Dr. C. Board certified Ob-gyne with 30+ years of experience. I can help you today. Cervical ectropion is just an anatomical variation of where the cells on the cervix change from skin cells to mucous cells. This change is similar to what happens when the skin around your mouth changes from skin cells to mucous cells inside your mouth. The lips are the "squamocolumnar junction". An ectropion just means that this change (these lips s to speak) are located farther out on the cervix than average. Any women can have an ectropion. They are more common in women who are younger but can be found in any age group. The condition doesn't require treatment unless it's thought to be the cause of bleeding or if excessive cervical mucous production is a problem. In that case, freezing treatment can be effective. I hope this information was reassuring and helpful. Please reply if I can clarify anything.
Any questions?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes the gp said it was just one of those things . But I looked on line for what it was and mostly said it was due to being on the pill, as I'm not made me question wether it was what I had . GP was certain , so really I should take her word for it and not listen to the Internet !
Yes women who are on pills may have more chance of having an ectropion but we see it in all ages of women and all situation, so yes I do agree that "it's just one of those things". One important thing is that we have to change that way we take the pap smear in women with ectropion to be sure we sample the right spot. Cervical cancers and precancers start at the "lips" where the cells change from skin to mucous. The regular pap brush sometimes isn't wide enough to sample that area in women with a wide ectropion. So in those women we have to make a conscious effort to brush over the ectropion out further where it joins the regular skin. Anything else?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So yes my question is you can have it and the pill not be the cause? Also seems I've had it many years as it was noted at a smear or two ago , this normal as well for it to stay around for so long? Just ne
Yes to both questions. It can be present in women without them being on the pill and yes it's normal for it to be "just the way it is" for your cervix. A normal variation that doesn't require treatment. If it's causing oozing of blood or bothersome amounts of cervical mucous, it can be treated. But most women have no symptoms. But the doctor has to make sure they take the pap smear a little differently as explained above. Anything else?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will my smears have been taken correctly then?? I have them done by nurses . All have been normal .
Probably it's ok. But when I have a patient with an ectropion, I always note it in the chart so I remember to take the sample wide. You can aks about it next time you're seen. Most providers will adjust from where they see the "junction".
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I shouldn't worry now that my previous smears wernt accurate ?!
Probably not a huge concern. Even if the brush didn't go over the proper area exactly, the brush picks up enough sample from all around to detect things. But if you find yourself worrying about i, you can call and ask to talk to someone about it. It's a pretty picky point, very much a fine-tuning that I do in my own practice. But if someone comes to me having her previous paps done elsewhere, I don't worry about her not having been properly screened in the past. I just make sure that I'm extra conscious about it when I take the sample. Anything else?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes , I'm thinking that twice I was called back as they didn't have adequate cells to test , I went back had test repeated and all was normal . fortunately I never usually have to visit GP ! So when I'm told I've got something and worry a bit until it's all clear in my mind!
Yes that is most likely because adequate cells weren't collected because the brush didn't hit the right spot. And you were called back. So it sounds like overall your screening has been fine. Anything else for today?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ah ok, so they would know when testing the cells wether right ones had been collected or not then .
I think I can sleep tonight! So I just can carry on as normal and forget all about the ectropian !
Yes correct. Most centers that read pap smears have a internal check for "adequate sample". That's why you were called back. The call back can be avoided by making sure to take a brush wider than average. Anything else I can help with today?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No that's fine thank you! Just needed a few things explained . After my diagnosis , you leave GP and have wished you asked a few more questions that you didn't ask at the time .
Yes, that does happen. If no more questions for me, please leave a rating for my service. I aim for excellent and appreciate your feedback. Thanks.
Dr. C. and other OB GYN Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes thank you!