What are polyps?
Polyps in the female reproductive system appear in the uterus or on the cervix. These are localized tissue growths of the endometrium or of the cervix. You may have one polyp, for example, on your cervix, or you may have many at the same time on your cervix and on your uterus. Their size also varies: from several millimeters to several centimeters.
These things may attach to the uterine or cervix wall by a large base (sessile) or a thin stalk (pedunculated). Most often, they occur in women after the age of twenty, who have given birth to more than one child. Polyps are almost never diagnosed to girls before the beginning of menstruation.
The majority – 99% of them – are benign (noncancerous). However, they can affect the course of your menstruation or make it difficult to become pregnant.
The same as endometriosis, science does not yet know the exact answer to the question of why polyps appear. It is believed that this may be due to an increased concentration of estrogen receptors and a decreased concentration of progesterone hormone receptors. In addition, the age of 40-50 years is a risk factor: during this period, these pathology is detected most often, which also coincides with hormonal changes at this time.
Causes of cervical polyps
Other causes may include:
- Chronic inflammation of the cervix, vagina, or uterus, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Chronic inflammation of the endometrium
- Clogged blood vessels near the cervix
- Pregnancy miscarriage
Causes of uterine polyps
Specialists believe that the risk increases in women:
- with obesity
- with high blood pressure
- during postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy
- using tamoxifen against breast cancer
Symptoms of polyps
You may have no symptoms at all, like most women with polyps. The rest may have the following symptoms:
- Periods is heavier than usual
- Bleeding after sex
- Vaginalleeding after menopause
- Bleeding between periods
- Vaginal discharge with an unpleasant smell
Symptoms of endometrial polyps may also include irregular/unpredictable periods and the inability to get or maintain a pregnancy. Yellow or white mucous discharge from the vagina can also indicate these formations in the cervix.
If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor.
Uterine polyps can be associated with infertility. If you have them and are unable to have children, removing the polyps may allow you to become pregnant.
Very rarely, polyps can be cancerous or precancerous. Examination of the removed polyp may reveal this.
If polyps do not cause any symptoms, treatment may not be necessary. However, in case of heavy bleeding during or between periods, suspicion of oncology, problems with fertility or threat of miscarriage – therapy is required. It is also necessary to remove polyps that appear after menopause.
The following methods of treatment may be recommended by your doctor:
- Medications to regulate hormonal balance, which will help relieve symptoms. However, they usually return after stopping the medications.
- Hysteroscopy: with the help of surgical instruments inserted through the hysteroscope, the doctor removes the detected polyps. This is the most common procedure.
- Curettage can be performed together with hysteroscopy. Using a hysteroscope to examine the inside of the uterus, the doctor scrapes the mucous membrane with a curette and removes all polyps. In the laboratory, the removed polyps are analyzed to determine whether they are benign or cancerous. This technique is effective for small polyps.
- A radical method: a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be necessary if the polyps turn out to be cancerous. This is a rare situation, so never agree to such an operation if oncology is not detected in your polyps.
After removal, polyps usually do not return, so the prognosis is quite positive. The actual removal is a simple procedure with little discomfort, after which you can safely return home. However, only if your doctor adjusts your hormonal balance.
After the surgical removal of the polyp, it will be necessary to refrain from sexual contact for seven days. Then you can live as usual.
Traditionally, I remind you that any treatment should be prescribed only by a qualified doctor!
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