Uterine polyps, also called endometrial polyps, are excess outgrowths of the endometrium (innermost uterine layer) in the uterine cavity.
The prevalence of polyps is estimated to be 10 percent to 24 percent of women undergoing hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) or localized endometrial biopsy.
Uterine polyps are rare among women younger than 20 years of age. The incidence of these polyps rises steadily with increasing age, peaking in the fifth decade of life, and gradually declining after menopause.
The most frequent symptom of women with uterine polyps is menorrhagia (irregular, acyclic uterine bleeding), which is reported in 50 percent of symptomatic cases. Post-menstrual spotting is also common.
Less frequent symptoms include heavy menstrual bleeding, post-menopausal bleeding, and breakthrough bleeding during hormonal therapy. Overall, uterine polyps account for 25 percent of abnormal bleeding in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
Uterine polyps are often diagnosed by microscopic examination of a specimen obtained after endometrial biopsy or dilation and curettage but they also be diagnosed on ultrasound or hysteroscopy.
The majority of cases of uterine polyps are cured by thorough dilation and curettage. However, removal of polyps or other structural abnormalities may be missed by blind curettage, therefore, a surgical procedure may be needed.
Hysteroscopy is a procedure that is performed minimally invasively at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Using a thin instrument with a lens, light source and camera attached to one end. This procedure enables surgeons to thoroughly examine the lining of the uterus and to remove the uterine polyps.
The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
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If you believe you should have an evaluation and would like to schedule an appointment with one of our uterine polyp experts, call 1-800-294-9999 to speak to one of our knowledgeable coordinators who can help to connect you to the doctor that best meets your needs, or fill out an online appointment request form.
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