Uterine polyps are growths that develop in your womb. While they’re usually harmless, larger ones can cause unpleasant symptoms, and some could develop into cancers. The highly skilled OB/GYNs at Women’s Health Domain in Austin, Texas, use minimally invasive techniques to identify and remove troublesome uterine polyps. To find out if your symptoms result from uterine polyps, call Women’s Health Domain at their office adjacent to the Domain in North Austin or book an appointment online today.
Uterine polyps are growths that affect the inner wall of your uterus. They develop because of an overgrowth of cells in the endometrium (the lining of your uterus). Uterine polyps are usually benign (noncancerous), but some may become malignant (cancerous).
Uterine polyps vary in size between a fraction of an inch to the size of a golf ball and sometimes larger. They have a thin stalk or a large base connecting them to the uterine wall. You might have one or many polyps. They’re most likely to develop in women during and after menopause.
Other risk factors for uterine polyps include having high blood pressure (hypertension), being obese, and taking tamoxifen for breast cancer. Usually, uterine polyps stay within your uterus, but sometimes they extend through your cervix and into your vagina.
Symptoms of uterine polyps include:
Some women only experience spotting or light bleeding when they have uterine polyps, and many are symptom-free.
To diagnose uterine polyps, your OB/GYN at Women’s Health Domain might need to get a better look at your uterus using transvaginal ultrasound. This procedure involves placing a wand-like device called a transducer in your vagina.
The transducer sends out sound waves at frequencies so high you can’t hear them. The ultrasound technology converts the sound waves to create an image of your uterus, enabling your OB/GYN to see any polyps.
Hysterosonography is the same procedure, but involves an injection of saline (saltwater) into your uterus first. The saline expands the uterus, so your OB/GYN gets a clearer view during the ultrasound.
Small uterine polyps that aren’t causing any symptoms might clear up without treatment. Unless you’re at risk of uterine cancer, removing small polyps is usually unnecessary.
Your OB/GYN at Women’s Health Domain might prescribe hormonal medications like progestins and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists to relieve symptoms of troublesome uterine polyps. However, this is a short-term solution, and your symptoms are likely to return if you stop taking your medicine.
A more permanent solution is to surgically remove the polyps during a hysteroscopy. This minimally invasive procedure uses a hysteroscope, an instrument that enables your OB/GYN to see inside your uterus. After removing any uterine polyps, your doctor sends them for lab testing.
If you develop symptoms of uterine polyps, call Women’s Health Domain and schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.