Uterine polyps are tissue overgrowths of endometrium, a tissue in the inner lining of the uterus, that extend into the uterus cavity.
They are rarely cancerous.
CAUSES OF UTERINE POLYPS
Uterine Polyps may occur spontaneously or because of higher levels of oestrogen hormone stimulating an isolated area of the uterine lining.
Although most of the polyps are noncancerous, the polyps that developed in women during or after menopause may turn out to be cancerous.
Uterine polyps are more common in women aged between 40 and 50 years. However, occasionally may be seen in younger women of 20 years or less.
Other causes of uterine polyps can include:
- Uncontrolled hypertension and
- Certain drugs used to treat breast cancer may increase the risk of uterine polyps.
SYMPTOMS OF UTERINE POLYPS
The most common symptom of uterine polyps is irregular menstrual periods or Menorrhagia
- abnormal heavy menstrual bleeding,
- prolonged periods,
- bleeding between periods
- during sexual intercourse
- bleeding even after menopause
Infertility may also be an indication of the presence of uterine polyps.
DIAGNOSIS OF UTERINE POLYPS
Uterine polyps are diagnosed based on
- A patient's medical history and symptoms
- Physical examination, and
- Other diagnostic tests such as transvaginal ultrasound, sonohysterography,
Further examinations may also include hysteroscopy and curettage.
TREATMENTS FOR UTERINE POLYPS
Smaller polyps that do not cause any problem need not be removed
Polyps should be assessed every 6 months to check their progression. However, if uterine polyps cause
- heavy menstrual bleeding,
or if there is previous history of miscarriage, then removal of uterine polyps (polypectomy) may be considered.
Usually, polypectomy is performed using hysteroscopy. This involves using a long, thin rod with a video camera and light (hysteroscope) being inserted through the vagina and cervical opening.
Then the polyp is held and cut with a small pair of scissors.
Larger polyps need to be operated in a hospital set-up under general anaesthesia.