Do You Have Uterine Polyps?
Polyps are non-cancerous, abnormal growths that appear in organs like the colon, stomach, throat, and other organs throughout the body. These growths can also form on the uterine lining, particularly the endometrial lining. Doctors estimate that 1 in 4 women have at least one uterine polyp. Some are very small and unrecognizable, while others can be as large as a golf ball.
Symptoms of uterine polyps
Polyps are usually asymptomatic, meaning most women are unaware of these growths. However, in some cases, there can be undesirable side effects. Some women can experience irregular bleeding, meaning bleeding after the period. In addition, light spotting and cramps can happen, especially after sex. Pre-menopausal women and women in menopause are more likely to develop uterine polyps. At the same time, younger women, especially those with obesity or high blood pressure, are at risk.
Can it affect fertility?
Most women with polyps can successfully have children with minimal side effects. However, for those struggling to become pregnant, polyps could be the cause of infertility. Some growths are large enough to obstruct the cervical passage, reducing sperm from reaching the egg. Others can form on the uterine wall and impede the implantation of an embryo. In this case, the woman can experience multiple miscarriages. Irregular bleeding along with difficulty getting pregnant should signal a trip to the doctor.
Detecting your polyps
An OB/GYN could confirm the polyps with some standard examinations. A transvaginal ultrasound could reveal any unusual masses on the uterus. In some cases, the doctor will perform a hysteroscopy. The doctor inserts a thin, long device with a camera and light into the vagina to the cervix. The device gives the doctor a much clearer view of the uterus on a screen. By understanding the size and number of polyps, the doctor can then make a decision.
When should you remove them?
If the polyps are making pregnancy difficult, removing these growths may increase the chances. There are minimally invasive outpatient options to have polyps removed. The most common procedure would be to remove the polyps along with hysteroscopy. The doctor inserts a loop attachment through the device to snare the polyps. Other devices can clamp or scrape smaller polyps. A sample is sent to a lab to test for cancers. After polyp removal, women should see some improvement in irregular bleeding and cramp over time.
Can removing polyps improve fertility?
Some studies show that removing polyps will help women with fertility struggles. Of course, hopeful couples understandably want to see those results quickly. However, pregnancy after polyp removal may take some time. The doctor would recommend waiting for at least 1-2 menstrual cycles before trying again. This timeframe gives the endometrial lining time to heal and for the lab results to return. If all goes well, pregnancy should be possible. In the rare event that fertility is still at risk, there may be other treatments available.
Get advice on polyp removal today.
For some women with polyps, there could be no symptoms at all. For others, the irregular bleeding and pregnancy struggles are a sign to visit the doctor. If the doctor decides to remove the polyps, the procedure can help with fertility. As a side note, for many women, polyps can return. A healthy lifestyle can reduce the chances of new polyps. That aside, polyp removal may be the answer. Speak with a doctor to find out how today.