Uterine polyps (also known as endometrial polyps) are growths attached to the inner wall of the uterus, caused by the overgrowth of cells in the uterine lining. Although most of these are benign, some may be cancerous, and even those that aren’t could eventually turn into cancer. It is possible to have one or multiple uterine polyps, which can range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters wide. The polyps generally stay within your uterus, although they sometimes move into the vagina. Uterine polyps are most frequently found in women who are going through/have completed menopause, although it is possible for younger women to get them too. Other risk factors include having high blood pressure, being obese and taking tamoxifen (a drug for breast cancer).
How is it diagnosed?
To detect uterine polyps, the following tests could be performed:
- Transvaginal ultrasound.
- Hysterosonography (also called sonohysterography) which involves having salt water (saline) injected into your uterus, giving the doctor a clearer view of the inside of your uterus during the ultrasound.
- Hysteroscopy. Your doctor inserts a thin, flexible, lighted telescope (hysteroscope) through your vagina and cervix into your uterus. Hysteroscopy allows your doctor to examine the inside of your uterus.
- Endometrial biopsy.
How are they treated?
If uterine polyps are detected, your doctor will probably recommend the removal of the polyp, and will also send a tissue sample for lab analysis to ensure that you do not have uterine cancer. However, in certain cases he/she might recommend waiting (as small polyps without symptoms might resolve on their own) or other medications (often a short term solution).