Uterine polyps, also called endometrial polyps, is an abnormal growth of the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium) that extend into the uterine cavity. Most uterine polyps are noncancerous (benign). However, they sometime can become cancerous (precancerous polyp). Uterine polyps can be found in the uterine walls connecting by a small stalk or a huge base. They vary in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters.
Uterine polyps can be found as a single or multiple masses and they can be local in the uterus or go down to the cervix, and to the vagina. They are usually found in women in their menopausal stage, but even younger women can have them as well.
Treatment option for uterine polyps could be observatory waiting, medication, and surgical removal.
Uterine polyps have the following signs and symptoms:
- Irregular menstruation
- Postmenopausal vaginal bleeding
- Bleeding between menstruations
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your doctor. In some women, there often has no symptoms or only light spotting or bleeding will be presented.
The cause of uterine polyps is unknown. However, hormonal factors are found to play an important role in developing the polyps. Uterine polyp most likely develops from an imbalance of the hormone estrogen.
The risk factors for uterine polyp formation include:
- During menopausal or after menopausal period
- Tamoxifen medication intake (used for breast cancer treatment)