Uterine polyps, though often asymptomatic, can significantly impact a woman’s reproductive health. Dr. Picton from Vitalab sheds light on this condition, discussing its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

What are Uterine Polyps?

Uterine polyps are growths within the uterus that can vary in size and shape. They may go unnoticed for years, as they often present no symptoms. However, they can interfere with fertility and lead to complications if left untreated.

Causes and Risk Factors:

Several factors increase the risk of developing uterine polyps. Age plays a role, with the likelihood of polyps increasing as women grow older. Additionally, obesity, particularly due to its association with elevated estrogen levels, raises the risk of polyp formation. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), characterized by hormonal imbalances and irregular ovulation, are also prone to developing uterine polyps.

 

Can Uterine Polyps Lead to Cancer?

While most uterine polyps are benign, a small percentage may harbor malignancy. Therefore, it’s crucial to undergo histological examination of removed polyps to rule out cancerous growths.

 

Symptoms and Presentation Symptoms

of uterine polyps can vary but often include heavy menstrual bleeding, intermenstrual bleeding, and post-coital bleeding. In some cases, polyps may protrude through the cervix, causing discomfort or bleeding.

 

Diagnostic and Treatment Approaches:

Diagnosing uterine polyps typically involves imaging studies or hysteroscopy, a procedure allowing direct visualization of the uterine cavity. Treatment involves the removal of polyps, which is usually performed as a day procedure under general anesthesia. This minimally invasive procedure, as demonstrated by Dr. Picton, effectively removes polyps and is covered by medical insurance.

 

Impact on Fertility and Pregnancy:

Uterine polyps can significantly impair fertility and increase the risk of miscarriage. They alter the uterine environment, promoting inflammation and immune system activation, which may hinder embryo implantation. Removal of polyps has been shown to improve fertility outcomes, with higher pregnancy rates observed following their removal. Dr. Picton emphasizes the importance of promptly addressing uterine polyps in couples struggling with infertility.

 

Conclusion:

Uterine polyps are common growths that can affect women’s reproductive health. While often asymptomatic, they can lead to fertility issues and complications if left untreated. Timely diagnosis and removal of polyps are essential for improving fertility outcomes and reducing the risk of complications. With advancements in minimally invasive procedures, such as hysteroscopic polypectomy, women can undergo treatment with minimal discomfort and resume their fertility journey with renewed hope.

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