What causes polyps in the uterus?

Uterine polyps, also referred to as endometrial polyps, are usually quite small, usually non-cancerous growths that form on the wall of the uterus. As the endometrium sheds and reforms on a monthly basis, an excess of endometrial tissue may cause a polyp to form. This is more common in women who are perimenopausal (approaching menopause) or post-menopausal although it is possible for younger women to have uterine polyps.

Do uterine polyps need to be removed?

Polyps are usually diagnosed during a routine gynecological exam. There are often no symptoms associated with polyps though sometimes they can cause abnormal or irregular bleeding. Uterine polyps may also interfere with pregnancy, preventing fertilization or making it difficult for you to stay pregnant.

In premenopausal women, polyps often go away on their own and may require no additional treatment if you are not having symptoms and have no other risk factors. In some cases, uterine polyps are precancerous and need to be removed. Your doctor may recommend a polypectomy to remove the polyp or may simply want to keep an eye on it.

Uterine polyps are different from uterine fibroids in that fibroids form from the uterine muscle and tend to be thicker and larger than polyps. Unlike polyps, fibroids may not shrink (until after menopause) and they do not go away on their own.

Getting regular gynecological care is the best way to diagnose and treat uterine polyps.

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