Ever experienced bleeding after sex or unusual vaginal discharge?
Maybe you’ve noticed extra sensitivity or discomfort during sex?
If so, you might be wondering if you have a friable cervix.
It’s actually a fairly common condition that can affect lots of women.
But it’s often a symptom of something else.
And while it can be an unsettling experience, understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of a friable cervix can help empower you to take charge of your health.
So let’s get empowered!
In this article: 📝
- What is cervix friability?
- What are friable cervix symptoms?
- How is a friable cervix diagnosed?
- What does it mean to have a friable cervix?
- What are causes of a friable cervix?
- How do you calm an inflamed cervix?
- How to heal a friable cervix during pregnancy
- Should I be worried about a friable cervix?
What is cervix friability?
Your cervix is lined with cells that are constantly changing and renewing themselves.
And when these cells become overly sensitive and easily irritated, it’s known as a friable cervix.
“Friable” means that it’s more sensitive to damage, like it’s more delicate than usual.
Essentially, having a friable cervix means a bit more prone to inflammation (AKA cervicitis), bleeding, and tearing.
This extra sensitivity can lead to other symptoms, too, like bleeding and discomfort during or after sex, and spotting between periods.
What are friable cervix symptoms?
So how do you know if you have a friable cervix?
Well, there are a few key things to look out for:
- Bleeding after sex: If you’re not on your period, that is.
- Spotting between periods: Light bleeding outside of your usual period could be a sign that your cervix is extra sensitive.
- Painful sex: Increased sensitivity and discomfort during sex are common symptoms.
- Unusual vaginal discharge: Changes in vaginal discharge, like increased volume or a different color or smell could be a sign of infection, which can trigger a friable cervix.
But here’s where things can get a bit complicated — these aren’t just symptoms of a friable cervix.
If you’re experiencing any of these, check in with your doc.
How is a friable cervix diagnosed?
Typically, your doctor will invite you in for a pelvic examination first.
This just helps to rule out any abnormalities or lesions.
Depending on what they have or haven’t found, they may also recommend:
- An STD test: This is usually done through either a urine or blood test.
- A biopsy This will only be taken if a suspicious-looking lesion is found and is normally performed through a colposcopy.
- A hormone level test: Usually through a blood test.
- A colposcopy: This will involve a tool called a colposcope which allows your healthcare provider to have a more in-depth look at your cervix.
What does it mean to have a friable cervix?
Having a friable cervix doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something seriously wrong.
It’s often a sign of another underlying condition to be treated.
That’s why it’s key to talk with your healthcare provider to rule out any potential health concerns and get it treated ASAP.
Is a friable cervix bad?
Generally speaking, no, having a friable cervix isn’t something to worry about.
It can be frustrating and uncomfortable, sure, but it’s not often a serious condition.
With proper medical treatment, you can effectively manage your symptoms and prevent complications.
What are causes of a friable cervix?
Well, a friable cervix is a symptom of a few different things — here are the more common ones:
- Infection: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs), usually chlamydia and gonorrhea, are the most common cause of cervicitis — with a friable cervix as a potential symptom.
- Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in estrogen levels, especially during pregnancy or perimenopause, can affect cervical tissue sensitivity.
- Trauma: Physical trauma from childbirth, cervical biopsies, or other procedures, can damage cervical tissue and make it inflamed or irritated.
- Endometriosis: A condition where uterine tissue grows outside the uterus, which can also irritate the cervical tissue.
- Cervical ectropion: This condition occurs when the inner lining of the cervix protrudes outward, increasing sensitivity.
But this isn’t an extensive list — cervical friability is often a symptom of an inflamed cervix (AKA cervicitis), which can be caused by lots of different things.
That’s why it’s important to speak to your doctor, so you can get to the root of the cause and get it treated.
How do you calm an inflamed cervix?
First things first: talk to your doctor.
Your friable cervix is irritated for a reason, so the best thing to do is treat the cause of your inflamed cervix (or cervicitis).
But in the meantime, here are some tips to help the friability:
- Tone down the HIIT exercises: Rest and avoid strenuous exercise or activities that can irritate the cervix (yes, even that exercise 😏).
- Maintain good hygiene: Keep things clean down there — but no douching!
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate pain.
- Consider lubricants: If you’re keen to continue with your… private activities, using a water-based lubricant during sex can reduce friction and discomfort.
But these things will only help provide temporary relief to your friable cervix — the best thing to do is to talk to your doctor about sorting out the reason for your sensitive cervix.
How to heal a friable cervix during pregnancy
Pregnancy can make your body extra susceptible to all kinds of infections, even cervical ones.
If you have a friable cervix during pregnancy, your healthcare provider will help you figure out the best course of treatment, depending on the reason for your cervical sensitivity.
But they might suggest something like these:
- Pelvic rest: Best to curtail those sexy activities for now, until your cervix sensitivity eases up.
- Antibiotics: If the cause is an infection, nipping that in the bud could be the best course of action, to keep you and baby safe.
Should I be worried about a friable cervix?
While a friable cervix can be an uncomfortable experience, it’s generally not a cause for serious concern.
But if you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider ASAP:
- Severe bleeding after sex or between periods: We’re talking about bleeding that soaks through a pad or tampon in an hour or less, especially if you’re pregnant.
- Severe pelvic pain or cramps: If it’s pain that’s worse than period cramps, or affects your daily activities, it’s worth talking to your doc about.
- Changes in vaginal discharge: Any weird smells, consistency, color, or even just more discharge than usual.
- Fever: If you have a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, get to your doctor.
- Vaginal or vulval changes: Especially any redness, swelling, or pain in your vulva or vagina.
One or more of these symptoms could mean your infection is getting worse, so definitely get it checked out.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications — and your health is always worth it.
Does a friable cervix mean cancer?
No, a friable cervix isn’t directly linked to cervical cancer.
But certain conditions that can cause a friable cervix, like HPV, are also risk factors for cervical cancer.
That’s why it’s important to maintain regular Pap smears and HPV screenings to monitor for cervical health and detect any early signs of abnormal cell changes, and to talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual going on down there.
Remember, if you’ve been diagnosed with a friable cervix, or you’re concerned about your cervical health, you’re not alone in this.
Many women experience this condition, and with proper understanding, care, and support, you can manage your symptoms and maintain good cervical health.
And if you want to talk to other women who understand what you’re going through, we’re having the conversation on Peanut.
We’re here for you.