Cervical stenosis means the cervix (endocervical canal) is narrower than normal, and can be completely closed. Stenosis means any body passage that is narrower than it should be.
Symptoms of cervical stenosis
Premenopausal women can end up with pelvic pain which has been caused by the build-up of menstrual blood in the uterus. This can result in infection, sporadic mid-cycle bleeding, and pain. The outcomes are not always positive for fertility, and endometriosis can result.
The narrow or closed cervix can block the passage of sperm into the uterus and fallopian tubes. It may also complicate attempts to use IVF or other assisted reproduction techniques.
Why does this happen?
- Foetal abnormalities (see Disorders (or Differences) in Sexual Development)
- Surgeries to the cervix such as colposcopy, cone biopsies, or cryosurgery
- Cervical trauma (accident, violence)
- Postmenopausal cervical atrophy due to low oestrogen
- Radiation therapy for cancer
Treatment of cervical stenosis
There are some options for women, depending on the circumstances of the cervical stenosis. Dilators can be used to open the cervix temporarily, or the delivery of a baby may open the cervix by itself. Stenosis caused by scarring can be treated with laser therapy. Surgery can shave off cervical tissue to widen the cervix. No treatment may be recommended in some cases, particularly in postmenopausal women.