AIMS: To study the nature of fibroepithelial polyps of the vagina. METHODS: Sixty five fibroepithelial polyps of the vagina and 64 granulation tissue polyps diagnosed over 15 years were reviewed histologically. RESULTS: Cytologically benign multinucleated stromal cells were present in large numbers in 19 of the fibroepithelial polyps of the vagina (FEPV). Only one polyp contained atypical stromal cells, a high mitotic count, and abnormal mitoses and was indistinguishable from a malignant tumour. Immunostaining showed the presence of vimentin and desmin positive mono- and multinucleated stromal cells in FEPV and occasional oestrogen receptor positive nuclei. Desmin positive cells could not be shown in granulation tissue polyps. CONCLUSIONS: FEPV are common lesions with benign mono- and multinucleated fibroblastic stromal cells in which myoid differentiation is often present. FEPV may develop as a result of a granulation tissue reaction after some local injury of the vaginal mucosa. Hormonal factors may modulate the growth of FEPVs. Delayed differentiation of myofibroblastic cells may explain why granulation tissue sometimes does not contract properly but turns into polyps.