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Understanding Uterine Polyps & Your Treatment Options

Uterine polyps are abnormal growths along the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium). They can adversely affect menstruation and fertility. In many cases, polyps are benign, however they can become cancerous. At our around Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Vicken Sahakian , Dr. Michele Evans, and Dr. Yvonne Yanqing Han of Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles can safely remove uterine polyps and prescribe medications to relieve symptoms.

What Are Uterine Polyps?

Uterine polyps are formed by an overgrowth of the endometrial tissue in the uterine lining. Polyps can have a flat base (sessile) or be elongated (pedunculated), and they can grow a few millimeters or several centimeters in circumference. In addition, polyps may develop one at a time, or several may form at once. These growths are typically non-cancerous, however they can cause problems with menstruation or fertility.

polyps illustration
Sometimes a polyp can travel through the cervix into the vagina.

Signs and Symptoms

Uterine polyps are more likely to form in women over 40. Chances of developing uterine polyps increase if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or take the breast cancer drug tamoxifen.

If you have uterine polyps, you may experience: 

  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods
  • An unusually heavy flow during menstrual periods
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding after menopause

Polyps can also affect fertility. Removing polyps may enable you to become pregnant if you have been struggling to do so.

The most common symptom of uterine polyps is irregular or unpredictable menstrual cycles.

How Are Uterine Polyps Diagnosed?

Your doctor will inquire about your menstrual history and whether or not you have had trouble conceiving. Be sure to report any unusual symptoms, such as excessive bleeding or spotting between periods. Your doctor may perform a gynecological exam and order additional tests should it be necessary to confirm a diagnosis.

Transvaginal ultrasound

During a transvaginal ultrasound, your doctor will insert a thin handheld device into the vagina. This device will capture images of the interior of the uterus. A sonohysterogram may be performed in tandem with an ultrasound, which involves injecting saline into the uterus. Saline expands the uterine cavity and enables your doctor to see the area more clearly. Your doctor can identify any fully formed polyps or buildup of endometrial tissue.

Hysteroscopy

During this procedure, your doctor will insert a long, thin tube with a lighted telescope (hysteroscope) through the vagina and into the uterus. The hysteroscope produces images of the uterus. A hysteroscopy may be used to diagnose or treat uterine polyps.

Endometrial biopsy

To identify abnormal cells, your doctor may collect a sample of endometrial tissue. The sample is sent to the laboratory for assessment.

Treatment Methods

Treatment may not be necessary if the polyps do not produce any symptoms or affect fertility. Should treatment be necessary, your doctor may recommend:

  • Surgical Removal: Your doctor can remove the polyps and send them to a laboratory for examination.
  • Medications: Drugs that regulate hormonal imbalances, such as progestins, may serve as a temporary therapy. However, symptoms typically return after you stop taking the medications.

Contact Us to Learn More

If you have symptoms of uterine polyps or you are struggling to conceive, our doctors at Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles can recommend the appropriate treatment. We encourage you to  please reach out to us today. You can call our staff at one of our convenient locations, or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.

Contact Us Today

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Westwood Office

10921 Wilshire Blvd
Ste 700
Los Angeles, CA 90024

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Ste 404
Glendale, CA 91208

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