Uterine Polyps (Endometrial Polyps): Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Also termed as endometrial polyps, these are specific growths attached to the inner walls of the uterus. It develops in the form of a mass and extends into the uterine cavity. The uterine polyps are the result of the overgrowth of cells in the endometrium. The polyps are attached to the uterus by an elongated pedicle, a small stalk-like structure.
The small growths develop in the womb or uterus. The size of polyps can vary, and a single person can develop more than one polyp. The polyps are usually non-cancerous and benign, but in some cases, it can develop into cancer, termed as precancerous polyps. Generally, polyps are contained within the uterus but it can also slip down through the cervix and into the vagina.
Uterine polyps are commonly found in women going through or have finished menopause. But in rare cases, it is found in younger women. Obesity and anti oestrogen drugs can also cause uterine polyps.
The small growth that develops inside your uterus has the following signs.
There is an uncertainty pertaining to the factor that develops the small growths in the uterus.
Some of the studies suggested changes in the hormone levels to be the cause of uterine polyps. Each month, the oestrogen levels in your body rise and falls. This causes the lining of your uterus to thicken and shed during your menstrual period. The constant changes in the hormone levels each month could act as a reason causing the growth of uterine polyps.
Age is regarded as another factor that can act as a factor causing the growth of polyps. Between the age of 40 to 50, women have a high chance of developing uterine polyps. This can be attributed to the changes affecting the oestrogen levels before and after one goes through menopause.
Some of the other causes of uterine polyps are as follows.
In order to examine and analyse the condition, your doctor will ask you about your menstrual history. This will include questions involving how often you get your periods and how long it lasts. The doctor may perform the following tests to further examine the condition.
The doctor will insert a flexible, thin telescope known as hysteroscope into your uterus, through your vagina and cervix. The procedure will help the doctor examine the insides of your uterus.
Under this procedure, a slender device shaped like a wand will be placed in your vagina. It will emit sound waves, which will help in creating an image of the interior of the uterus. The ultrasound will detect if there are any polyp-like growth in the endometrial tissue.
This will be conducted after the transvaginal ultrasound. Using a catheter (a thin tube), a sterile fluid will be introduced into your uterus. The fluid is used because it causes the uterus to expand, thus providing a clearer image of the insides of the uterus. This will help in analysing and examining any growths present in the uterine cavity during the ultrasound procedure.
In this procedure, the doctor will use a suction catheter to collect a specimen from your uterus for further testing in the lab. The collected tissue will be collected from the inner walls of the uterus. The sample will be sent to a lab to determine any possible abnormalities or growths.
This procedure is carried out in an operating room. Currettage helps in diagnosing as well as treating polyps. A long instrument called as the curette will be used by the doctor for the purpose of collecting tissue from the inner walls of your uterus. A small loop at the end of the curette helps the doctor in collecting the tissue or the polyps. The scrapped off tissue will be then sent to a laboratory, like endometrial biopsy, to determine the possible presence of cancer cells.
There are certain methods and steps used in treating the abnormal growth in the inner walls of the uterus. Your doctor may recommend the following for the treatment of uterine polyps. In some cases, the polyps disappear on their own with time.
Drugs that can help regulate the imbalance in hormonal levels can be used as a temporary form of treatment. Medications such as progestins or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists can help relieve the symptoms associated with polyps. There is no assurance that the polyps will disappear after taking the medicines, as it will reappear once the medicines are stopped.
If the condition moves to a severe side, your doctor will advise you to get the polyp surgically removed. The surgery will be carried out using a hysteroscope. This can cause mild cramps and slight bleeding and you will be advised to take rest till the surgical incision heals.
Although there is no definite scientific proof that supports the claim that home remedies can help prevent the onset of the onset of uterine polyps, it is advised that you adopt the following preventive measures.
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