If you don't know what you cervix is, often called your lady's donut, you will be amazed by the wonders of which this little organ is capable.
The cervix is the gateway between the vagina and the uterus. It helps to clean and maintain your vaginal flora secreting cervical mucus, keeps bacteria and pathogens away from your uterus, helps conception by letting sperm through, letting period blood out, and, when stimulated, can deliver mind-blowing orgasms.
As with any other part of the body, things can go wrong, as with a friable cervix.
What is a friable cervix?
Crumbly world literally means easily crumbled. Not exactly a word you want to describe your cervix. But that's what happens when someone suffers from this condition.
When the cervix is friable, the cervical tissue is more tender than usual, which can cause it to tear and bleed easily when touched.
Seeing that the vaginas can see a lot of friction, you can see how uncomfortable, often painful, this disease can be.
What are the symptoms of a friable cervix?
Knowing what symptoms to look out for can help you determine whether or not you have a friable cervix and how to communicate it to your healthcare professional.
- Discomfort on penetration.
- Painful intercourse, often called dyspareunia.
- Bleeding or spotting following intercourse.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge.
- Spotting between periods.
- Itching, burning and vaginal irritation.
It is also possible to have no symptoms and still have a friable neck.
What are the causes of a friable cervix?
This uncomfortable condition is usually a symptom of an underlying condition.
Here is a complete, but not final, list of what could cause a friable cervix.
- Sexually transmitted infections: Certain STI including chlamydia, gonorrhea, cervical herpes, trichomoniasis (parasite), can cause inflammation or irritation of the cervix.
- Vaginal atrophy: When the body has less estrogen, it can lead to thinning, dryness and inflammation of the vagina.
- Menopause: When the body crosses menopause, hormonal changes can lead to vaginal and cervical imbalances.
- Hormonal imbalances: A drop in estrogen due to other factors includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, hysterectomy or the removal of reproductive organs.
- Medicines: Certain prescription drugs and cancer treatments.
- Cervical ectropion: Sometimes known as cervical erosion.
- Cervical polyps: Small, elongated tumors that grow on the cervix and are usually benign, that is, non-cancerous.
- Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: Abnormal growth of cervical cells, usually caused by the Human papillomavirus (HPV)and can become cancerous if left untreated.
- Hormone replacement therapy, as well as hormonal birth control.
- Hypothyroidism: A condition that makes the thyroid underactive.
- Coagulation disorders: Conditions like hemophilia and Von Willebrand disease that interfere with the body's ability to control blood clotting.
- Liver cirrhosis.
- Intrauterine devices, or IUD.
- Complications of pregnancy.
- Vaginal dysbiosis: An imbalance between unhealthy bacteria and yeast and the good bacteria.
- Food sensitivities: Many food sensitivities can cause inflammation, even in the cervix.
- Deregulated blood sugar and high insulin levels.
How is a friable cervix diagnosed?
The first thing a provider will likely do if a friable cervix is suspected is to administer a cervical smear, which collects cervical cells to test them for any abnormalities.
Then your provider can perform a colposcopy. A procedure similar to a cervical smear, which allows your healthcare professional to do a close examination of your cervix. During the procedure, they may take a sample for a biopsy, to rule out cancer.
Since many cases of a friable cervix are due to an STI, your healthcare professional will likely test you and ask you about your sexual history.
One of the next steps your provider will take is to test your hormone levels. Keep in mind that a friable cervix is often caused by hormonal imbalance.
How do you treat a friable cervix?
Because a friable cervix is usually a symptom of an underlying condition, treatment will depend on the root cause.
- Change medications: Your healthcare professional may recommend changing any medications that can cause a friable cervix.
- Antifungals: To treat any possible fungal infection.
- Antibiotics: Especially in the case of an STI or other bacterial infection.
- Remove polyps: Where applicable.
- Hormone replacement therapy: If a friable cervix has developed around menopause, your healthcare professional may recommend HRT.
- Time: Especially in case of pregnancy.
- Silver nitrate: A salt compound used to cauterize blood vessels.
- Holistic treatments: Providers such as a naturopath will invite you to change your diet and offer you a vitamin and mineral supplementation protocol.
- Herbal treatments: Prescribed by a licensed professional.
- Prevention: Prevent STIs by using condoms and discuss your STI status with any new partner.
Often, a friable cervix will go away on its own without receiving further treatment.
Be sure to report any signs of a friable cervix to your healthcare professional, so they can help you and your cervix on the road to recovery!
Natasha's passion for reproductive health began at the age of fourteen, when she was present for the birth of her younger sister. Her incredible experiences as a birth doula have given her a glimpse into the magical realm of birth, pregnancy, and everything in between. Her role of birth attendant is her way of acting as an activist. She uses writing as a key educational tool to create a shift in our view of reproductive health as a whole.
There are many genres of health including physical health, mental health, spiritual health, cultural health, social health, financial health, environmental health, etc. Plus all these genres of health can impact each other. For instance, if you are trying to prevent pregnancy and are able to access the birth control you need ( physical health ), this may help to create a more positive mood ( emotional health ), which may also positively impact your sense of sexual confidence and sexual self-esteem ( sexual health ).
Sexual health-related issues are wide-ranging, and encompass sexual orientation and gender identity, sexual expression, relationships, and pleasure. They also include negative consequences or conditions such as : infections with human immunodeficiency malware ( HIV ), sexually transmitted infections ( STIs ) and reproductive tract infections ( RTIs ) and their adverse outcomes ( such as cancer and infertility ) ;unintended pregnancy and abortion;sexual dysfunction;sexual violence; andharmful practices ( such as female genital mutilation, FGM ).
No matter where you are coming from, WE ARE HERE to help bring Sexual Health into a more positive and empowering place. A place where hopefully you can learn the sexual health information you would like, see or speak to a professional in the field whether on the Sex Sense Line or at one of our many clinics throughout BC, and come away knowing that sexual health is a natural part of being human.
Options for Sexual Health champions and celebrates sexual health including an individual’s freedom of sexual expression, the diversity of human sexuality, and a positive sexual self-image for individuals throughout life. Think about what factors influence your sexual health ? What messages have you been given about sexual health from… ( if applicable ) ….. your family ? friends ? society ? culture ? religion ? spirituality ? What are some of your own values and beliefs ?
How we experience our sexual health is also part of how we experience the world. For example, there are many factors that health researchers have identified that can effet our health including sexual health. These are known as the ‘social determinants of health’ and include how health is affected by income, education, employment, childhood development, food, housing, health services, gender, espèce, disability, Indigenous status, social marginalization, and social services. If someone’s gender identity/identities are not recognized this can impact their sexual health and experiences of social marginalization. Another example is if someone is a newcomer to Canada and may not speak the language or have the health care card that will allow them to access the sexual health services they need. As you can see, our sexual health is as individual and complicated as the various dynamics of our lives. Human sexuality rarely falls into neat categories or lends itself to simple labeling, but rather is a rich and complex area of human experience. Sexual health is personal, psychological, relational, cultural, spiritual, physical, and emotional. So what does “sexual health” mean to you ?
This supplemental provenant of Public Health Reports ( PHR ) presents a variety of articles addressing the méthode and practical applications of sexual health, an important health offre de rabais concept with the potential for improving population health in a broad range of areas related to sexual behavior, including human immunodeficiency malware ( HIV ) /acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ( AIDS ), sexually transmitted diseases ( STDs ), viral hepatitis, teen and unintended pregnancy, and sexual violence. The focus of these articles is especially timely given the population burden of these conditions in the United States and other nations, and the growing recognition that, despite the sensitive nature of the topic, addressing the broad construct of sexual health can enhance the national dialogue in this area and increase the effectiveness of public health programs
The concept of sexual health has evolved since its initial articulation by the World Health Organization ( WHO ) in 1975, 5 but it has generally emphasized well-being across a range of life domains ( e. g., physical, mental, and emotional ) rather than simply the absence of disease or other adverse outcomes. 6 The definition of sexual health currently in most widespread use is that developed by WHO in 2002 :
Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, esprit, and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence
Sexual health is a state of well-being in relation to sexuality across the life span that involves physical, emotional, esprit, social, and spiritual dimensions. Sexual health is an intrinsic element of human health and is based on a positive, equitable, and respectful approach to sexuality, relationships, and duplication, that is free of coercion, fear, discrimination, stigma, shame, and violence. It includes : the ability to understand the benefits, risks, and responsibilities of sexual behavior; the prevention and care of disease and other adverse outcomes; and the possibility of fulfilling sexual relationships. Sexual health is impacted by socioeconomic and cultural contexts—including policies, practices, and services—that support healthy outcomes for individuals, families, and their communities.
Similar to the WHO definition, this newer definition is health-focused, emphasizing well-being related to sexuality that is beyond the absence of specific health problems, in multiple dimensions of life, as well as positive and respectful approaches to sexuality and relationships. Moving beyond the WHO definition, the CHAC definition also specifically emphasizes attributes of sexual health at both the individual level ( e. g., individual understanding of benefits, risks and responsibilities, and prevention and care of health outcomes ) and the social level ( e. g., effet by socioeconomic and cultural contexts and saine outcomes for families and communities as well as individuals ).
In the past decade, there has been increasing attention to the importance of addressing the concept of sexual health, 1–4 with the premise that offre de rabais of sexual health has great potential to complement traditional disease control and prevention exercices for a range of conditions of public health importance—not with the intent of replacing those exercices, but rather of improving their acceptance and, thus, the impact of those prevention exercices on the population. It is from this perspective that this supplemental venant of PHR has been developed, with the purpose of bringing together a range of articles addressing new insights into research, surveillance, program practice, and broader perspectives that can influence our understanding and progress on the broad topic of sexual health. It should be noted that “sexual health” is a concept undergoing evolution, not only in its definition, but also in its practical outil. The term generally includes a focus on health and wellness rather than disease, an appreciation for the intrinsic importance of sexual health as part of overall health, and an attempt to address comprehensively a range of outcomes of public health importance; however, some of the articles in this supplement address a relatively narrower focus ( e. g., STD and pregnancy prevention9–11 ), while others include a broader spectrum. 12–17 Such variety is a necessary and important aspect of the uptake of the sexual health concept into the méthode and practice of public health.
Four articles address important research questions in key areas relevant to sexual health. First, Penman-Aguilar and colleagues conducted a detailed literature review to assess the impact of socioeconomic disadvantage on teen childbearing. 9 While the factors evaluated varied by study, the authors discovered a consistent theme across the review, with all studies that considered socioeconomic factors as determinants finding a significant association with teen birth rates, including factors at the family level ( e. g., lower levels of mère education and family income ) and the community level ( e. g., lower per capita income and higher rates of unemployment and racial segregation ). The review found that relatively few studies assessed factors at both the family and community levels, an important priority for future research.
Second, using nationally representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth and the U. S Census Bureau, Biello et al. conducted an in-depth analysis of the effet of various dimensions of residential racial segregation on the risk for early initiation of intercourse—an important risk factor for STD and teen pregnancy—among black and white adolescents. 17 The finding that black youth were more likely than their white peers to have initiated sexual intercourse in adolescence was significantly modified by several measures of segregation ( e. g., concentration and unevenness ) with a particularly notable black-white disparity in highly segregated areas. While preliminary, these findings contribute to our growing understanding of the complex interplay between social determinants and individual sexual health outcomes and should stimulate further research in this area.
Third, to understand the union of relationship characteristics and attitudes about STD and pregnancy outcomes with the use of dual protection strategies ( i. e., both highly effective contraception and condoms ), Crittenden Murray and colleagues conducted formative research among young African American women attending reproductive health clinics. 10 The study found a tension from trying to balance the desire to establish and maintain intimate relationships with the use of protection strategies ( e. g., condom use could be seen as a sign of mistrust ). The authors conclude that a more holistic approach, with a focus on saine ado and young adult relationships, is crucial in prestations to prevent STD and unintended pregnancy, an venant that can be especially important in environments where trust is often violated ( e. g., due to frequent concurrent partnerships ) and childbearing at younger ages is accepted.