In most cases, bumps on the cervix are benign, or noncancerous, growths, such as polyps or cysts. In some cases, however, they may indicate the presence of cervical cancer.

A doctor might discover a bump on the cervix during a routine pelvic examination or a Pap smear test.

This article provides an overview of what a bump on the cervix might mean. We also cover the symptoms, causes, treatments, and risk factors, as well as guidance on when to see a doctor.

bump on cervix businesswoman
In most cases, bumps on the cervix are not dangerous.

The cervix is the tissue that connects the uterus, or womb, with the vagina.

The cervix has two distinct parts lined in two different types of cell:

The glandular and squamous cells meet to form an area called the transformation zone. This area undergoes many changes during a woman's lifetime, especially during pregnancy and childbirth.

Cells in the transformation zone continuously change, making this area very susceptible to abnormal cell growth.

A number of conditions can cause a bump to develop on the cervix, and the following sections will outline these.

Cervical polyps

A cervical polyp is a noncancerous, bulb shaped growth that develops on the cervix. Polyps may vary widely in appearance, size, and color.

It is unclear why cervical polyps develop, but some possible causes of cervical polyps can include:

In most cases, cervical polyps are benign, with . A healthcare provider can remove cervical polyps in a straightforward procedure.

Nabothian cysts

Pregnant women can develop small white bumps called nabothian cysts. They can form when excess skin cells clog the mucous glands lining the cervix.

Women may not know that they have a nabothian cyst until their doctor finds one during a routine pregnancy examination.

Although nabothian cysts do not usually cause symptoms, they can rupture and release foul-smelling discharge or blood.

Cervical fibroids

Fibroids, or myomas, are noncancerous tumors that usually develop in the muscle tissue of the uterus. Though rare, fibroids can also grow in the cervix.

Fibroids can vary in size, and some may grow big enough to cause weight gain and swelling in the lower abdomen.

Fibroids are almost always benign. Cancerous fibroids are rare, occurring in .

Cervical cancer

A bump on the cervix may indicate cervical cancer. Early stage cervical cancer .

Cervical cancer can affect one or both types of cell lining the cervix. That being said, the American Cancer Society estimate that .

Untreated fibroids can cause problems during pregnancy.

In general, fibroids do not cause serious complications. However, untreated fibroids can increase the risk of infertility and cause problems during pregnancy, such as:

  • placental ablation
  • preterm delivery
  • miscarriage

Having fibroids does not raise the risk of developing cancerous fibroids.

Nabothian cysts rarely cause serious complications and will often go away without treatment.

However, large nabothian cysts can deform the shape of the cervix. These cysts may require excision or surgical removal.

Benign growths, such as cervical polyps and nabothian cysts, often do not require treatment.

However, even benign growths can cause problems. Cysts and polyps can grow large enough to distort the shape of the cervix and may require surgical removal or drainage.

Treatment options for bumps on the cervix can include:

Surgery

Examples of surgical treatments for bumps on the cervix can include the following:

A doctor may recommend using a power morcellator to break up fibroids. However, the say that these devices can cause undiagnosed cervical cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body.

They explain that "uterine sarcoma (a type of cancer) is more common in women undergoing surgery for (noncancerous growths in the lining of a woman's uterus)."

Medication

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist and antagonist medications can treat symptomatic cervical fibroids.

GnRH medications cause the body to produce less estrogen and progesterone, which effectively shrinks fibroids without affecting fertility.

Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can help reduce cervical bump-related cramps and lower back pain.

Cancer treatments

Treatments for cervical cancer include:

  • radiation therapy
  • chemotherapy
  • radical hysterectomy, in which a surgeon will remove the uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, a portion of the vagina, and any surrounding lymph nodes

Maintaining a healthy body weight and monitoring hormone levels may help reduce the risk of developing a bump on the cervix.

However, leading a healthy lifestyle does not guarantee complete protection against conditions that can cause a bump on the cervix.

Attending routine pelvic exams and Pap smear tests can help detect cervical abnormalities early on.

The recommend that people ages 21 and older have regular cervical cancer screening tests.

The widespread use of regular Pap smear tests in recent decades has led to a significant reduction in the rates of cervical cancer diagnoses and deaths.