Gynaecologist Gives An Overview On Uterine Polyps
Uterus or womb is the part of a woman’s reproductive system where an embryo embeds itself and further develops into a foetus.
Any complication in the uterus such as any growth, or an irregularity in its structure can cause recurrent miscarriage or complications during delivery.
Breath And Beats caught up with Dr. Rekha Brar, Gynaecologist and IVF Expert, to get a basic insight about uterine polyps.
What are uterine polyps?
Uterine polyps are benign (non-cancerous) growths attached to the inner wall of the womb (uterus).
Who can develop uterine polyps?
Uterine polyps are most common in women who are in their pre-menopause or post-menopause stage.
Even younger women can have uterine polyps but they are not as common, and actually quite rare.
Symptoms of uterine polyps
It is not always that women with uterine polyps will develop noteworthy or uncomfortable symptoms.
Although, it may happen a few times that some women may experience symptoms similar to that of endometrial cancer.
Symptoms include several types of abnormal uterine bleeding, such as:
- Irregularity in periods – having frequent and unpredictable periods
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding between two menstrual cycles
- Bleeding after menopause
- Bleeding after intercourse
Another uterine polyp symptom is difficulty in getting pregnant. This can even be a cause for female infertility, if it remains untreated.
What causes uterine polyps to develop?
The major cause for it to occur in women is the hormonal factor. It should be noted that uterine polyps are sensitive to the female hormone, namely estrogen.
Some of the other causes or risk factors of uterine polyps are:
- Clogged blood vessels
- Increased level of female sex hormone, i.e. Estrogen.
- Chronic inflammation of the vagina, cervix or uterus.
- Maturity in age. typically between 40 to 50 years.
- Pre-menopause or post-menopause
- Taking anti-estrogen drugs or a history of consuming the said drugs.
How does uterine polyps affect fertility?
Uterine polyps act like a natural intrauterine device (IUD), preventing a fertilized egg from implanting itself in the uterine wall.
Additionally, it can also block the area where the fallopian tube connects to the uterine cavity. This will prevent sperm from traveling into the tube to meet the egg.
Similarly, they can block the canal of the cervix, which would prevent the sperm from entering into the uterus.
As well in some cases it may also play a role in miscarriages.
How can they be diagnosed?
Depending upon the symptoms, the doctor or primary physician may recommend one of the following methods mentioned below. This helps them in analysing if the patient has uterine polyps.
In this method, a wand-like, slender device is placed in the vagina.
The device emits sound waves and shows an image of the uterus. Through this image, the doctor can determine whether uterine polyps are present inside the uterus or cervix.
In this process, the doctor inserts a flexible, thin, and lighted telescope referred to as a hysteroscope, inside the vagina or cervix. This procedure helps the doctor in examining the insides of your uterus.
In this procedure, the doctor makes use of a suction catheter inside the uterus for collecting a specimen for laboratory testing.
What are the treatment options?
Not all uterine polyps are cancerous but the uterine polyp treatment is neccessary to control the uterine bleeding.
Removal of uterine polyp through surgery is recommended to you by your doctor as the permanent solution. The surgery is done in the same way the uterine polyps are diagnosed.
This is a surgical process in which the entire uterus is removed. In some cases of hysterectomy, usually performed by a gynaecologist, it may be considered to remove the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other surrounding structures as well. This procedure of complete removal is know as Radical Hysterectomy.
This is a procedure to remove a uterine polyp which can be performed in a clinic or hospital by a licensed specialist under local or general (full) anaesthesia.
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