Endometrial Polyps Specialists in New York, NY
Endometrial Polyps: Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment
Home to a team of leading professionals in the field of reproductive health, Maiden Lane Medical is here to offer only the highest standard of consultation, diagnoses, and treatment of Endometrial Polyps.
With locations in Downtown, Midtown, Soho, and Upper East Side New York, a Maiden Lane Medical clinic is always near.
What are endometrial polyps?
Endometrial polyps are small, soft growths projecting from the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium). These relatively common fingerlike overgrowths contain glands, stroma, and blood vessels. Endometrial polyps affect both reproductive age and postmenopausal women.”
Endometrial polyps can vary greatly in size, from smaller than a grain of rice, to as big as a golf ball. Occasionally women will experience multiple growths at a time.
One of the biggest concerns women with endometrial polyps have is wondering if their growths are cancerous. While some growths that form on the uterus lining can be cancerous, most uterine polyps are not. Fortunately, if any growths are symptomatic or show potential to be cancerous, Maiden Lane Medical has many reliable ways of detecting and removing them.
Causes of endometrial polyps
Health professionals are not 100% on the exact causes of endometrial polyps. However, most studies point towards shifts in certain hormone levels that are part of the menstrual cycle.
Several theories suggest a relationship between polyps and estrogen stimulation.
Every month a woman’s estrogen levels should rise and fall, triggering the endometrium (uterus lining) to thicken and then shed. This commonly presents itself as a ‘period.’ Endometrial polyps usually form due to a lining overgrowth.
Age can also play a part in the likelihood of forming endometrial polyps. While they can develop at any age, they are more likely to present themselves in women in their 40’s or 50’s. Being overweight, having high blood pressure, and taking some medications have also been shown to increase the risk of polyp formation.
Endometrial polyp symptoms
The symptoms of endometrial polyps are not universal and can vary significantly from one individual to the next. In addition, the severity of symptoms can be affected by the size and location of the polyps. However, some individuals (regardless of polyp size) may find that they show no signs whatsoever.
Common endometrial polyp symptoms include:
- Irregular periods
- Particularly heavy or prolonged periods
- ‘Spotting’ between cycles
- Bleeding after menopause
- Difficulty getting pregnant
If you have any symptoms, make an appointment at Maiden Lane Medical for diagnosis. Many reproductive health issues cause similar symptoms, and an accurate diagnosis is the critical first step in getting the proper treatment to restore your health and relieve your symptoms.
How are endometrial polyps diagnosed?
If you are suspected of having endometrial polyps after an initial consultation with your doctor, you will have to go through a further examination to confirm.
There are a number of different tests that can be used to determine endometrial polyps, and sometimes the polyps may be able to be removed in the process. Diagnosis can be achieved by utilizing the following:
1. Transvaginal ultrasound
Ultrasound uses soundwaves and echos to create images of your internal organs and structures. The technician inserts the transducer wand into your vagina during a transvaginal ultrasound.
The transducer releases the soundwaves and collects their echos, transmitting the information to a computer to generate the images of your uterus and endometrium. A polyp may appear as a focal mass or non-specific thickening of the lining. The procedure is safe and painless. You won’t need a sedative, pain reliever, or time away from work.
Hysterosonography is an advanced type of ultrasound. During the procedure, you recline on a treatment table with your feet in stirrups, much like during a routine gynecologic exam. Then, your physician gently opens your vagina with a speculum and inserts a thin catheter into your uterus.
Next, your doctor injects a small amount of saline solution into your womb. The fluids help create space in your uterus, which helps create more precise images. Then they use an ultrasound transducer wand on the outside of your abdomen to complete the procedure.
As with hysterosonography, you lie on a treatment table with your feet in stirrups during hysteroscopy. Your physician opens your vagina with a speculum and inserts a hysteroscope into your uterus. Typically this procedure is performed under light sedation.
A hysteroscope is a thin tube with a light and camera on its tip. When your doctor places the device into your womb, it transmits pictures of your endometrium and the inside of your uterus to a computer screen in the treatment room. It creates clear images that can help your doctor diagnose endometrial polyps.
If a polyp or any other endometrial abnormality is detected on hysteroscopy, a directed biopsy or complete removal of the polyp can be performed at that time.
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How are endometrial polyps treated?
Sometimes endometrial polyps will not need any invasive treatment and will simply go away on their own. Small asymptomatic polyps are the most likely to resolve spontaneously. Your doctor will advise you on whether or not vigilant waiting is a suitable course of action.
Some medications, called progestins, can be used to help control your hormone levels, which can shrink polyps, ease symptoms, and make them easier to remove. Medications are a good option for management, but symptoms will usually return after the course of medication has stopped.
Management of polyps depends on symptoms, risk of malignancy, and fertility issues.
While an invasive method requires both a preparation and recovery period, surgically removing endometrial polyps is the most thorough approach. Polyps can be removed at the same time as diagnoses and uses techniques that will not leave any external scarring.
If your polyps are found to be cancerous, it might be necessary to undergo a hysterectomy in which the entire uterus is removed. The physicians at Maiden Lane Medical use state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgical techniques, including robotic surgery with the DaVinci® surgical arm, for any necessary procedures to remove polyps or your reproductive organs.
Should you worry if you have endometrial polyps?
The majority of endometrial polyps are not cancerous; however, like many growths, they do have the potential to develop into cancer over time. The risk of cancer is higher if you have already gone through menopause.
The symptoms of uterine cancer are very similar to that of uterine polyps, so it is advised to consult your doctor as early as possible should any abnormalities present themselves.
Another worry of endometrial polyps is the potential for infertility. If left unmanaged, polyps can make getting pregnant harder and make you more likely to miscarry, so it is essential to get a full reproductive health check if you are struggling to conceive.
Studies show that pregnancy rates are significantly improved after polypectomy.
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Endometrial polyps are the most frequently observed pathologic finding in the uterus and are usually benign. However can cause a number of unwanted bleeding symptoms, exist as a possible precursor to malignancy, and are associated with infertility.
Make an appointment at one of our Maiden Lane Medical centers today if you are concerned about endometrial polyps or have any other queries regarding your general health and well-being.
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