With the frequent use of transvaginal ultrasound, CT scans, and MRIs; the diagnosis of uterine polyps has increased. Endometrial polyps are small growth from the inner lining of the uterus. They occur in menstruating and postmenopausal women, and in some cases are thought to be related to unopposed estrogen and medications like tamoxifen. Some women are asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis; whereas others experience abnormal bleeding patterns such as spotting between periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, or postmenopausal bleeding.
So when should we be concerned? A recent review of 17 studies was published in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology about the cancer potential of uterine (not cervical) polyps. Those women with uterine polyps and abnormal bleeding or in menopause only have a 5% chance of cancer. Fortunately we can easily remove polyps by hysteroscopy to send to the lab for analysis (inserting a thin scope into the uterine cavity similar but more accurate than an old fashioned D&C). It’s low risk, relatively painless, and requires no recovery time other than the day of the outpatient procedure. Even if malignancy is detected, most of the time the prognosis is excellent when confined to a polyp as hysterectomy is curative.
Bleeding between periods? Heavy periods? Menopausal bleeding? Come see us today… Modern gynecologists conveniently offer ultrasound in their offices where they can enhance detection of small intra-uterine growths by placing water in the uterus (Sonohysterography), or alternatively perform hysteroscopy.
Wishing You Good Health,
Women’s Health Specialists
2299 Mowry Avenue, Suite #3C
Fremont, CA 94538
PS: We’re now part of the Washington Township Medical Foundation