While most uterine polyps are benign, these growths can occasionally be precancerous or even cancerous. Additionally, uterine polyps can cause women to suffer heavy or irregular periods among other unpleasant symptoms. Visiting a board-certified gynecologic surgeon like the ones at La Peer Health Systems’ Surgical Gynecology Center of Excellence is the best way to preserve your health and ensure quality of life for years to come.
What Are Polyps?
Uterine polyps are tumors ranging in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters that grow on the inner walls of the uterus. Attached to the wall by stalks, polyps typically remain confined to the uterus, however they can occasionally protrude into the vagina. Uterine polyps can occur in women of any age but are more common in patients who are going through—or have already gone through—menopause.
While most polyps are benign, they can occasionally be precancerous or even cancerous. Additionally, polyps can sometimes interfere with a woman’s ability to get pregnant. Seeing a gynecologic surgeon is the best way to determine if your uterine polyps need to be removed for any reason.
Uterine Polyps Symptoms
Although uterine polyps are usually benign, they can have a serious impact on a woman’s quality of life. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may want to be examined for polyps:
- Heavy or excessive menstrual bleeding
- Irregular periods or bleeding between periods
- Bleeding after menopause
- Trouble getting pregnant
Uterine Polyps and Infertility
In most cases, small polyps do not interfere with a woman’s ability to get pregnant. However, women suffering from large or multiple polyps may be at a higher risk for infertility and miscarriage. Because polyps limit blood flow to the endometrial lining, they can prevent an embryo from implanting. Additionally, polyps may affect a woman’s ability to carry a baby to term. Studies show that removing uterine polyps may help improve a woman’s fertility.
Uterine Polyp Treatment
If you’re suffering from unpleasant symptoms of uterine polyps, it’s important to know that there are options for treating your condition. The surgeons at the Surgical Gynecology Center in Los Angeles specialize in minimally invasive procedures to remove uterine polyps.
A hysteroscopy is a safe, outpatient procedure that can offer dramatic relief to women with uterine polyps. Using an instrument with a camera on the end, our surgeons can view the inside of the uterus and remove polyps from the inner walls. Although most uterine polyps are benign, your doctor will send suspicious-looking polyps to the laboratory for biopsy.
Also known as hysteroscopic myomectomy or polypectomy, a hysteroscopy takes just 45 minutes and is performed under general anesthesia. Most patients experience significant relief from symptoms like pain and bleeding after surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How big can uterine polyps grow?
A: While most uterine polyps are small (just a few millimeters), they can grow to be the size of golf balls.
Q: Do uterine polyps stay confined to the uterus?
A: While polyps typically remain attached to the walls of the uterus, they can occasionally slide down through the uterus into the vagina.
Q: Who is at risk for uterine polyps?
A: Any woman can potentially develop uterine polyps. However, the growths are most common in women who are going through or have already gone through menopause.
Q: Are uterine polyps cancerous?
A: In most cases, uterine polyps are benign tumors. However, polyps can be cancerous or precancerous. Examination and biopsy by a board-certified gynecologic surgeon is the best way to determine if a polyp is cancerous.
Contact the Surgical Gynecology Center for a Consult
Uterine polyps can cause a number of unpleasant side effects including excessive bleeding, irregular periods and problems with fertility. In rare cases, they can even raise your risk of developing gynecologic cancer. If you want to learn more about treatment options for polyps, contact the Surgical Gynecology Center of Excellence by calling (888) 374-0367 or fill out our appointment request form online.
Next, learn about menorrhagia (vaginal bleeding).