DR ISABELLE CARTIER / ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR ISABELLE CARTIER / ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cervical erosion, colposcopy. Erosion in the cervix (neck of the womb) indicated by application of Lugol's iodine solution, used to test for cervical abnormalities. Normal cervical mucosa contains glycogen and stains brown, whereas abnormal mucosa, such as eroded areas or early cervical cancer, do not take up the stain. The abnormal areas can then be biopsied and examined histologically. Cervical erosion occurs when the normal surface cells of the cervix, squamous epithelium, are replaced by glandular mucous-secreting cells from the cervical canal. It can be caused by trauma, infection or chemicals. It may cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, but is symptomless in most cases. Treatment is of the underlying cause, although it may heal on its own.
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