Uterine polyp: what are the risks and how to treat it?

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What is a uterine polyp?

First thing to know: theendometrium is a mucous membrane that covers the inner wall of the uterus. Every month, between puberty and menopause, the endometrium proliferates to prepare for a possible pregnancy. If the egg is fertilized by a sperm, the endometrium allows the embryo to implant in the uterus; if the egg is not fertilized, the superficial part of the endometrium destroys itself causing bleeding – these are the rules.

We are talking about uterine polyp when the endometrium locally develops abnormally to form a nodule – that is to say: a lump. This nodule can be more or less big (it can even occupy the whole uterine cavity) and take different shapes: most often, it looks like a fungus (because the “ball” forms at the end of a “stem”) but it can also grow directly on the wall of the uterus, like a flattened disc. In addition, it is possible to have several uterine polyps at the same time.

To know.In the majority of cases, the uterine polyp (which is defined as a benign tumor of the uterus) is mucous, that is, it consists only of endometrium, explains Dr. Pia de Reilhac, gynecologist. More rarely, the development of fibrous uterine polyps is observed, made up of uterine lining and muscle fibers.

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Uterine polyp: which signs should not be ignored?

Uterine polyps: risk factors. Uterine polyps tend to develop in women who have hyperestrogenia (that is, excess estrogen in the body), in women who are obese (with a body mass index greater than 30) and in women after menopause (a phenomenon that occurs more towards the age of 50-55 years).

Poorly balanced menopausal hormone therapy (THM) can be responsible for excess estrogen in the body and therefore the formation of uterine polyps “adds the gynecologist.

Uterine polyps: are there any symptoms? Uterine polyps are quite discreet: they do not cause pain, itching or discomfort on a daily basis. On the other hand, they are generally responsible for vaginal bleeding: ” a woman who has one or more uterine polyps will have unusually heavy periodsunusually long periods and / or bleeding between periods “explains Dr. de Reilhac.

The advice of the gynecologist: if you notice any abnormalities in your menstrual cycle (with suddenly irregular periods and / or an abnormally abundant flow …), do not hesitate to make an appointment with your gynecologist, if only for a control visit!

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Diagnosis and treatment: what treatment for uterine polyps?

Uterine Polyps: Is It Serious, Doctor? Although annoying on a daily basis (because they cause heavy bleeding, sometimes without a period), uterine polyps are usually not serious for your health., says Dr. de Reilhac. However, medical management is necessary since, exceptionally, a uterine polyp can become complicated in endometrial hyperplasia and progress to endometrial cancer.

How is a uterine polyp diagnosed? The gold standard for diagnosing a uterine polyp is ultrasound of the uterus – this is done by the gynecologist transvaginally (the probe is inserted into the vagina). The doctor can also look inside the uterus using a hysteroscope (called a hysteroscopy) to possibly take a sample of tissue (biopsy).

Uterine polyp: treatments. The removal of the uterine polyps (s) is usually done in the hospital: this procedure (called polypectomy) can be performed under local or general anesthesia – it usually takes place on an outpatient basis, which means that you are not sleeping to the hospital. It should be noted that polypectomy is usually performed under hysteroscopy.

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If there are a lot of uterine polyps, an endometrectomy can also be done., adds Dr. de Reilhac. This intervention (which takes place under general anesthesia but always on an outpatient basis) consists of “scratching” the endometrium to reduce the thickness of this mucous membrane.

Thanks to Dr. Pia de Reilhac, gynecologist and president of the National Federation of Colleges of Medical Gynecology (FNCGM).

Source : National Cancer Institute

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