Uterine polyps are unwanted growths (of cells) that start from the inner lining of the uterus and extend into the uterus. In some people, they extend into the cervix and even into the vagina. As some of you might be knowing, the inner lining of the uterus is called endometrium, thus the name ‘Endometrial Polyps’ for Uterine polyps.
The size of uterine polyps can range from few millimetres to an inch or a little more than an inch. Uterine polyps hold to the endometrium with a think stalk that helps in seeding the growth of the polyps. Unwanted growth of cells on the endometrium results in growth of these polyps. The polyps are benign most of the times but in rare cases they can have precancerous cells and can lead to cancer.
What are the symptoms of uterine polyps?
Simply putting, any problem with the endometrium layer will result in disruption of menstrual cycle of a woman and may also affect her fertility. Symptoms of uterine polyps include:
- Irregular periods – They can become more frequent or get delayed. Periods become unpredictable due to the growth of uterine polyps.
- Spotting or bleeding in the middle of menstrual cycle.
- Heavy bleeding during menstruation
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Infertility (inability to conceive, which is obvious considering the fact that menstrual cycle is not regular and endometrium has a problem).
At what age do the uterine polyps occur?
Most commonly, uterine polyps occur in women who are undergoing menopause (perimenopause stage) or after reaching menopause. However, younger women who are in their fertile age can also suffer from uterine polyps.
If you see any of the symptoms mentioned above, (it can be even just the spotting of blood in the middle of menstrual cycle), you must get in touch with your gynecologist. Simple physical examination to imaging tests may be conducted to get to the root cause of the problem.
What causes uterine polyps in a woman?
Doctors believe that hormonal changes in a woman’s body may be playing a role in the growth of uterine polyps. Uterine polyps are found to be sensitive to estrogen; meaning, the fluctuations of this hormone levels can lead to growth of polyps.
When a woman is in her perimenopause or menopause stage, the fluctuations of hormones is significant and this poses a higher risk of developing uterine polyps. High blood pressure (or hypertension), obesity or being overweight or certain medications can also lead to the growth of endometrial polyps.
What are the complications of endometrial polyps?
Infertility and in some cases anemia can be result of endometrial polyps. If you are trying to conceive but failing and have any of the spotting or other symptoms mentioned, please see a gynecologist near you immediately.