Polyps

Polyps have the potential to form in any organ with blood vessels as a result of abnormal tissue growth. Polyps are typically benign, however they can develop to be cancerous (malignant) due to the abnormal tissue growth and most commonly do not need treatment unless they become painful or begin to bleed.

The two main types of polyps are:

  • Uterine Polyps: Sometimes called endometrial polyps as they form in the inner lining of the uterus. They are formed by the overgrowth of endometrial tissue and can range in size. Like most polyps, uterine polyps are usually benign, but they can cause issues with menstruation or fertility. There can, in some cases, be a cluster of multiple polyps that can cause greater discomfort or pain.
  • Cervical Polyps:Are commonly cherry-red to reddish-purple or greyish-white and can vary in size, they often look like bulbs of tissue on thin stems. Cervical polyps are usually benign and can occur alone or in groups.

There are two types of cervical polyps:

  • Ectocervical polyps: They develop on the outer surface of the cervix and are most common in       postmenopausal women.
  • Endocervical polyps: Are found in the cervical glands inside the cervical canal. They are the most common form of cervical polyp and are more common in premenopausal women.

Many polyps are incidental and do not usually cause symptoms, however when this does occur symptoms include:

  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Heavy menstruation
  • Light bleeding between periods
  • Abnormal bleeding, especially after intercourse.
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding after menopause
  • Infertility
  • Abnormal discharge

Uterine and cervical polyps can be identified through the use multiple different tests:

  • Ultrasound
  • Routine pelvic exams
  • Pap smear
  • Sonohysterography
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Curettage