Friable Cervix or Cervicitis
by Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND
What is a friable cervix?
The cervix is the small tunnel that leads from the vagina into the uterus. A friable cervix is one that is easily irritated and inflamed and can bleed, particularly after intercourse. Your MD or gynecologist may notice bleeding from the cervix or inflammation on performing a PAP smear.
Other causes of abnormal bleeding need to be ruled out such as complications of pregnancy, malignant tumors (endometrial, cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and ovarian), infection (endometritis, salpingitis, chlamydia), and other benign pelvic disorders (traumatic lesions of the vagina, severe vaginal infections, foreign bodies, cervical polyps, submucous uterine leiomyomas, adenomyosis, endometriosis, and endometrial polyps).
Causes of medically induced abnormal uterine bleeding include hormones and birth control pills, digitalis, phenytoin, anticoagulants, and IUD’s. Systemic diseases that may cause abnormal uterine bleeding include hypothyroidism, cirrhosis, and coagulation disorders.
What can be done to heal a friable cervix?
Conventional treatment may involve antibiotics, anti-fungals and/or silver nitrate to cauterize blood vessels. Naturopathic treatment for inflammation of the cervix means looking for the root cause of the inflammation and addressing that.
Possible causes of inflammation of the cervix:
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s) like HPV virus, Gonorrhea, herpes virus and Chlamydia. Boosting the immune system, taking anti-microbial herbs and strengthening the tissue that lines the cervix can help fend off STD’s and defeat viruses like the herpes and HPV virus.
- Vaginal dysbiosis – Dysbiosis means overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria/yeast in the vagina and lack of “good bacteria”. This happens from antibiotic use. Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections or other unwanted microorganisms, coupled with insufficient beneficial flora can cause chronic inflammation.
- Food sensitivities – most people have several mild food allergies or sensitivities that can contribute to inflammation anywhere in the body including bladder, vagina, sinuses, digestive tract and the cervix. Symptoms of these include: bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, fullness after eating, heartburn, headaches, sinus problems, skin rashes, tiredness, muscle weakness, joint pain, eczema, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, environmental allergies, asthma etc, basically anything that involves inflammation.
- Poor ability to produce your own “anti-inflammatories” –Your body has an innate ability to produce anti-inflammatories like prostaglandins and corticosteroids. A lack of omega 3 fatty acids in the diet or excessive intake of inflammatory fats and/or poor adrenal gland function mean lower levels of endogenous anti-inflammatory production.
- Poorly regulated blood sugar levels and higher insulin – whenever blood sugar levels spike, your body has to produce insulin. Insulin is very pro-inflammatory. Keeping blood sugar stable helps keep insulin levels lower, reducing inflammation.
- Hormone imbalance. Estrogen progesterone balance is vital to healthy vaginal and cervical tissue. Reducing insulin helps reduce excess estrogen production or activity. It’s the liver’s job to remove any estrogen excess. Facilitating liver detoxification of excess hormones and chemicals and pollution that may be acting like hormones can help reduce inflammation.
Naturopathic medicine can address all of the above factors through natural methods like diet, vitamins, minerals and herbs to fix the root of the problem and keep the cervix healthy.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here may not apply precisely to your individual situation. Diagnostic and therapeutic choices must always be tailored to the individual patient’s circumstances, and consultation with a licensed naturopathic physician should be undertaken before following any of the treatment strategies suggested in this web site.