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Cervical ectopy (cervical erosion) (0)

The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus (womb) and is the part that can be felt at the top of the vagina.

A cervical erosion is a raw-looking granular appearance on the cervix. It occurs when the inner lining of the cervical canal (columnar epithelium) comes out onto the part of the cervix that can be visualised with a speculum. It appears as a red, velvet-like area.

Cervical erosion is related to the hormone called oestrogen and is common in young girls, during pregnancy and in women on the contraceptive pill. It should not be regarded as a sign of disease because it is frequently found in perfectly healthy women.

Gynaecolgists now tend to use the term cervical ectopy and at one time it was called a cervical ectropion. The cervix is not eroded and there is no ulceration - it is simply that the columnar epithelium is much thinner than the squamous epithelium and so the underlying blood vessels show through more clearly, making the area look red and raw.

Cervical erosion is a completely benign condition and it does not lead to cancer.