Uterine polyps are growths that occur in the inner lining of the uterus (also known as endometrium) and is also referred to as endometrial polyps. At the initial stages, the polyps are non cancerous but can turn to being cancerous at the late stages.The size of uterine polyps ranges from a few millimeters and can sometimes be as large as golf ball. They are usually confined in the uterus but can at times extend up to the opening of the cervix and in very rare cases slip out to the end of the vagina.
A definite cause of uterine polyps is yet to be established but hormonal imbalance has been sighted as one of the possible causes. A hormone known as estrogen which causes the monthly thickening of the uterus has also been affiliated to these growths.
Who is Affected by Uterine Polyps
Women who are in menopause, between the ages of 40-50 are most likely to be affected. Although cases of pre menopause infections exist, rarely do you come across an infection case for women under the age of 20. Chances of being affected are high for those women with obesity or have high blood pressure. Women taking drug which contain tamoxifen, a major component of breast cancer treating drugs are also at a risk of being affected.
The most common symptoms of uterine polyps include the following:
a) Menstrual cycles characterized with heavy flows also known as menorrhagia
b) Experiencing pain during and after sexual intercourse which is also coupled with an itchy feeling around the vagina
c) During the menstrual period, instances of blood spotting can be experienced
d) Women with uterine polyps usually have unpredictable menstrual cycles. A shift from the normal 21 day cycle is common where a woman can either take too long before getting monthly periods or have them within a short span of time usually less than the stipulated 21 day period.
e) For women who are pre-monopause, instances of infertility are common
f) Women who become pregnant are likely to have a miscarriage if they have the uterine polyps condition
Uterine Polyps Diagnosis
Women are advised to seek medical assistance at the slightest suspicion of uterine polyps infection. Seek medical attention from a qualified gynecologist who will take the either of the following tests to determine the extent of damage before recommending treatment measures to be applied.
a)Hysteroscopy :This is a medical procedure where the doctor inserts a hysteroscope through the patients vagina into the uterus and uses is to remove all the growth present.
b)Endometrial biopsy: The doctor will use a special instrument to collect pieces of the growth. The collected pieces are then taken to the lab for examination to determine the extent of damage
c)Transvaginal ultrasound :The doctor inserts a thin hand held device into the vagina which then sends the entire shape of the uterus to determine the level of infection before treatment is recommended
a)Medication: A doctor may recommended drugs aimed at reducing the menstruation flow and ease pain.This is however a temporally measure and more lasting treatment can be sought
b)Hysteroscopy: As previously stated, hysteroscopy removes all growth material in the uterus and can therefore serve as a method of treatment
c)Surgery: A more lasting solution would be taking a surgery. This is particularly the best option if the uterine polyps is at an advanced stage and has turned to being cancerous.