Schedule a visit with a gynecology specialist if you suspect that you may have an endometrial polyp. Although these growths are common and usually harmless, they can sometimes cause problems.
Board-certified OB/GYN Lillian Schapiro, MD, FACOG, and the team of women’s health specialists here at Ideal Gynecology in Atlanta, Georgia, are an excellent resource for your questions and concerns regarding endometrial polyps.
What are endometrial polyps?
Endometrial polyps are growths that develop in the uterine lining. Many women who have them are unaware of their presence as they usually cause no symptoms.
Treatment entails close monitoring. We can remove polyps that are causing any issues.
What causes endometrial polyps?
The exact cause of uterine polyps is unknown. However, hormonal changes appear to play a role in their development. Every month, women's estrogen levels rise and fall, causing the uterine wall to thicken and eventually shed. Polyps are more likely to form when the uterine wall grows too thick.
Age is one of several risk factors for endometrial polyps. Women between the ages of 40-50 are more likely to develop uterine polyps. Women experience changes in estrogen levels prior to menopause, which may cause polyps to develop. Obesity and high blood pressure are other risk factors for uterine polyps.
How can polyps affect health?
When polyps do cause problems, abnormally heavy periods are the most common symptom. Of women who have symptoms, heavy periods occur in roughly half of cases. Irregular periods are also common. Some women who have gone through menopause may experience spotting if they have uterine polyps.
If endometrial polyps grow large, they may cause pain and discomfort. Additionally, endometrial polyps may cause problems with fertility. If your polyps are interfering with your ability to get pregnant, removing them can improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.
Diagnosing and treating uterine polyps
Dr. Schapiro will perform a thorough gynecological exam to evaluate you for uterine polyps. Transvaginal ultrasound is the best way to view images of the uterus. This imaging test is quick and painless, and it allows Dr. Schapiro to assess you for uterine polyps. Dr. Schapiro will discuss the next steps if she identifies any polyps.
A hysteroscopy is the most common procedure for removing uterine polyps. It involves using a thin tube with a light attached (hysteroscope). A hysteroscope can be used as part of the diagnostic process as well as the treatment process.
During an operative hysteroscopy, Dr. Schapiro will remove any polyps or other abnormal growths.
If your polyps are causing heavy menses, and you are done having children, Dr. Schapiro may recommend endometrial ablation. This procedure involves removing the uterine lining, which will help to lighten periods.
If you’re dealing with heavy periods, pelvic pain, or other symptoms, don’t hesitate to come in for an evaluation. Our team is here to assist in scheduling a visit with Dr. Schapiro. Call our Atlanta office, or submit a booking request online with Dr. Schapiro today.