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Uterine Polyps

Obstetrics and GynaecologyReproductive Medicine

Uterine Polyps refer to benign tumours formed by the overgrowth of mucosal cells in the uterine cavity. It can be further classified as an endometrial and cervical polyp based on its growth location. Uterine polyps may cause mild bleeding or discomfort and are typically discovered during routine gynaecological examinations in women.

Category

Uterine polyps can be classified into endometrial and cervical polyps based on their growth causes and locations.

  • Endometrial Polyp: These grow within the endometrium, the inner layer of tissue inside the uterine cavity. They may appear as irregularly shaped masses covered with mucous membranes, often requiring additional instruments for detection.
     
  • Cervical Polyp: These grow in the cervical area, which is the lower part of the uterus connected to the uterine cavity and leading to the vagina. Cervical polyps are composed of mucous gland cells and connective tissue. They are typically multiple and may hang from the cervix like a dangling water balloon, often having a narrow stalk, making them easily detectable in gynaecological clinical examinations.

Symptoms

Uterine Polyps may cause the following symptoms:

  • Non-menstrual vaginal bleeding: Uterine polyps can lead to vaginal bleeding outside of the menstrual cycle.
  • Excessive menstrual bleeding or prolonged periods: When uterine polyps affect the normal blood flow in the endometrium, it may result in excessive menstrual bleeding or long menstrual periods.
  • Uterine cramps or pain: In some cases, uterine polyps may cause uterine cramps or a pain sensation.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse: Uterine polyps may cause discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Abdominal discomfort: Some women may feel abdominal discomfort or lower abdominal pain.

Factors

Uterine polyps can occur at any age, but they are more common in women aged 40-50. Women who have had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or endometrial inflammation have a 0.5-4.8% chance of developing uterine polyps. The size and number of uterine polyps vary from person to person, ranging from one to multiple, with sizes ranging from 0.5 cm to several cm.

Diagnosis

Pelvic ExaminationDoctor can perform a pelvic examination to inspect the endometrium and cervix, checking for polyps.
Pap SmearIn many cases, uterine polyps are discovered during a Pap smear.
Uterine UltrasoundThrough ultrasound examination, abnormal uterine masses can be visualized, confirming the presence of polyps and determining their size and location.
Biopsy or Endometrial BiopsyIf polyps are detected during an ultrasound or other examinations, the doctor may recommend a tissue biopsy to determine whether they are malignant tumours. In cases where uterine polyps are suspected, a doctor may perform an endometrial biopsy to obtain tissue from the inner lining of the uterus.

FAQ

Some studies suggest that endometrial polyps may be associated with infertility or difficulty conceiving, but not all uterine polyps will necessarily lead to infertility. Potential influencing factors may include their impact on the shape and structure of the uterine cavity, affecting the fertilised egg's implantation and the embryo's development. During pregnancy, uterine polyps may increase the risk of miscarriage or preterm birth. The development of uterine polyps may also be related to hormone levels, and hormonal abnormalities could potentially have adverse effects on pregnancy.
Most uterine polyps are benign; however, in sporadic cases, uterine polyps may become malignant (cancerous), especially in postmenopausal women. Suppose a patient experiences symptoms such as uterine bleeding, abnormal vaginal bleeding, or irregular menstruation. In that case, doctor may recommend further examinations, including a biopsy, to confirm the presence of cancerous changes.

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