Uterine polyps, also called endometrial polyps,are bulges or overgrowth of the inner lining of the uterus protruding into the uterine cavity from an attachment to the inner wall.
Normally, these polyps contain normal uterine endometrial cells that have overgrown and bulged into the uterus as a benign( non-cancerous) growth.
They may be attached to the uterus in two different ways- either by a broad base ( sessile polyps) or a long stalk like a lollipop( pedunculated polyps). Pedunculated polyps are more common and may protrude from the uterine cavity into the vagina. Polyps may also be found in the uterine cervix. They may range from a few millimeters to several centimeters, as large as a lawn tennis ball.
An individual woman may have one or multiple polyps at the same time. Polyps are not fibroids. While polyps develop from the endometrium, fibroids are benign tumors of the smooth muscle wall of the uterus.
No definitive cause of uterine polyps has been established as yet. However, it is known that estrogen may play a role as many of the polyps are estrogen-sensitive. That is expected in some way since these polyps develop from the endometrium in the first place which is also very sensitive to estrogen.
Polyps often affects women in their 40s or 50s. Both premenopause and postmenopausal women can be affected.
Some few risk factors have been identified which may make a woman more likely to develop polyps including
Many polyps will not produce any symptoms.When symptoms develop, they are often related to bleeding from the blood vessels of the polyp.
Common symptoms include
Uterine polyps require clinical examination and some investigations to confirm the diagnosis. Most often, it is necessary to make sure there is no cancer present.
The tests that are done to diagnose polyps include
The specific treatment will depend on several factors including the size the polyp, the presence of symptoms or the likelihood of it being cancerous. One common problem with polyp treatment is recurrence which will require repeat treatment.
Therapeutic options include
Return From Uterine Polyps To Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Return From Uterine Polyps To Menstruation Home