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What are uterine polyps?

Developing as growths on your uterus’s inner wall, these growths spread into your uterine cavity. This cell overgrowth on your endometrium (which is the lining of your uterus) then produces uterine polyps.

Uterine polyps can vary from a few millimetres up to a few centimetres in size, with some women only having one polyp, whilst others can have multiple polyps. These polyps are usually not cancerous in nature. They are mostly benign, however some uterine polyps can be cancerous. Pre-cancerous polyps can also eventually develop into cancerous polyps.

Uterine polyps tend to occur more frequently in women who are in the early menopause stage (women who are peri-menopausal) or in women who are post-menopausal (women who have completed the menopause). Younger women, however, can also be afflicted by uterine polyps. At your IPSA Medical clinic, a female IPSA Medical specialist will see you to undertake your uterine polyp consultation.

What can I expect at my IPSA Medical uterine polyp consultation?

Your female IPSA Medical doctor always works holistically, and in IPSA Medical’s confidential and conducive clinic setting, your full-length consultation will involve a thorough discussion of your uterine polyp symptoms and a full examination, with immediate appointments and schedules that suit you. Your IPSA Medical physician is also highly experienced in gynaecological medicine and in family planning.

Women’s health and the key symptoms of uterine polyps

The main signs that are present with uterine polyps include:

  • Issues concerning infertility
  • Irregular bleeding (such as frequent and unpredictable menstruation that varies in terms of both length and heaviness)
  • Bleeding that is unusually heavy
  • Bleeding in-between your periods
  • Bleeding after the menopause

 

When should I see my IPSA Medical doctor?

If you do experience irregular bleeding, vaginal bleeding after the menopause, or bleeding in-between your periods, then you should seek immediate medical help from your IPSA Medical physician.

At your IPSA Medical clinic, the different options for treating uterine polyps will be fully discussed with you, before you and your IPSA Medical doctor reach a decision on the best method for treating and managing your uterine polyps given your specific set of symptoms.

You might be offered a referral by your IPSA Medical physician so that further investigations can be undertaken, which could include having a hysteroscopy (which is a camera test) or having a biopsy, and this will depend on both your risk factors and on the severity of your particular symptoms.

Referrals, which are arranged immediately by your IPSA Medical physician, are always local and at times that fit in with your schedule.

What causes uterine polyps?

Hormonal factors do appear to play some role in uterine polyp development; however, the exact cause or combination of causes are currently unknown.

What are the treatments and drugs available at my IPSA Medical clinic?

If you present with uterine polyps, then your IPSA Medical doctor might simply recommend waiting, as some of the smaller uterine polyps that are asymptomatic (that is, when there are no symptoms) can sometimes resolve on their own and treatment is unnecessary, except where there is a uterine cancer risk. The other options include:

  • Medication: Specific hormone medications (e.g. gonadotropin-releasing agonists and progestins) can act by shrinking your uterine polyps and so lessening your symptoms.
  • Curettage: This is a procedure that involves the inside of your uterus walls being scraped to both remove uterine polyps and to collect specimens.
  • Surgical removal: A hysteroscope, which is a medical device that is used to examine the inside of your uterus, is used to perform a hysteroscopy. This is where surgical instruments are inserted via the hysteroscope in order to remove any of the identified polyps. These uterine polyps are then usually sent to the laboratory for a microscopic examination.

Your IPSA Medical treating physician will openly discuss any of the next steps that are involved in both evaluating and treating your polyps if they are found to contain any cancerous cells.

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