Endometrial polyps

Endometrial polyps occur in women during their reproductive age. This is one of the commonest causes for abnormal uterine bleeding. Overgrowth of the inside lining of the uterus known as endometrium is known as polyps. Endometrial polyps are generally benign. But there are possibilities that the endometrial polyps can be harmful also. When endometrial polyps are removed they are sent for examination to a laboratory.

It is calculated that over one fourth of the women experience uterine polyps also known as endometrial polyps. An overgrowth of tissues in the endometrium is known as endometrium polyps. Endometrial polyps usually appear as s bulb shaped growth of endometrial tissue attached to the uterus. There can be a single polyp or several polyps present at the same time in the uterus. It may vary in size from that of a sesame seed to that of a golf ball. They are usually benign but can cause problems during the menstruation period and can be a cause of infertility. The exact cause for the formation of endometrium polyps is not known to medical science. It is believed that the swings in the hormone level can be a reason for the formation of ovarian cysts.

Symptoms of endometrial polyps

The common symptoms of endometrial polyps are furnished below. 1) Infertility 2) Irregularity in menstrual periods 3) Abnormally heavy menstrual flow 4) Bleeding between period 5) Bleeding after menopause The normal menstrual cycle of a woman is calculated to be as 28 days. But a change from 21 days to 35 days is also considered as normal. Any increase or decrease in this period is considered as irregular.

Diagnosis

Hysterosalpinggram is the test conducted to determine whether there is any blockage to the fallopian tubes. This test is conducted by passing an opaque dye to the uterus through a special instrument which is inserted through vagina into the cervix. The X-ray photograph taken with the dye clearly shows the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes. The blocks, if any, in the fallopian tubes can be identified. In addition to this the abnormalities in the uterus are also known through these X-ray photographs which may be due to the existence of polyps, adhesions, fibroids etc. When this test is conducted during the middle point of the menstrual cycle the abnormalities relating to the endometrium can be discovered.

Effect of endometrial polyps on fertility

Endometrial polyps have great affect on fertility of the person inflicted with it. A study has shown that was the chances of pregnancy improved to 63 % when endometrial polyps was removed compared to 23% when the same was not removed. Removal of polyps near the opening of the fallopian tubes has been found to be more affective in removing infertility compared to the removal of polyps in other parts of the uterus or nearby structures. Endometrial polyps causes irritation to the lining of the uterus and thus interferes with the implantation process of an embryo in it.

Diagnosis

Sometimes endometrial polyps are visible in a speculum examination when it stick out through the cervix. Ultra sound scanning is also a popular diagnostic method for endometrial polyps. A sample obtained during uterine sampling can be examined under a microscope to evaluate the existence of endometrial polyps. Hysteroscopy is another procedure in which a hysteroscope is inserted into the uterus through cervix and examination of the uterus is carried out.

Treatment options

Removal of polyps through surgical procedure is the most effective treatment option for endometrial polyps. Dilation and curettage is a very popular and effective method for the removal of endometrial polyps. In this procedure the cervix is dilated and the endometrium which I the lining tissue of the uterus is removed through scrapping

Treatment is not warranted if the polyps do not show any symptoms. But if there is bleeding or if there is suspicion that the polyps can be cancerous surgical procedure to remove the polyps will have to be resorted to. Medications: Drugs like progestines or gonadotrophin etc are used to relieve symptoms. Although the symptoms disappear as the medicines are taken, they re appear as soon as the medicines are stopped. Hysteroscopy: This is a surgical method in which the doctor inserts a hysteroscope through vagina which is used to examine the uterus for the presence of any polyps and to remove them if they are found. Hysterectomy: Hysterectomy is a surgical method used to remove the polyps found inside the uterus. In total hysterectomy the uterus, the fallopian tubes and the ovaries are removed. In radical hysterectomy the uterus and some portion of the vagina are removed. But as the internal linings of the vagina and the clitoral region are not torn the ability to take part and enjoy sexual intercourse is not restricted in this surgery.