For many women, experiencing pain or unexplained changes in their menstrual cycle can be a source of worry and uncertainty. Women may think that pain or abnormal and unpredictable menstrual cycles are difficulties that they must suffer through as they age, but it’s important to see your physician and get the proper care as a part of a holistic reproductive wellness plan. While there can be many causes of painful or difficult periods, uterine polyps are a common culprit. Below we’ll outline more information about this condition, including uterine polyp symptoms, causes, and removal methods.
What Are Uterine Polyps?
Uterine polyps are growths that form and attach to the inner wall of the uterus and extend into the uterine cavity. The formation of uterine polyps is caused by an overgrowth of cells in the lining of the uterus (endometrium). These polyps are usually noncancerous, although some can be cancerous or can eventually become cancerous.
What Are Uterine Polyp Symptoms?
When suffering from uterine polyp symptoms, it’s important to note that while some women experience a full spectrum of symptoms, other women only experience light spotting or are entirely symptom-free. Common uterine polyp symptoms include:
- Irregular menstrual bleeding (having frequent, unpredictable periods of variable length and heaviness)
- Bleeding between menstrual periods
- Excessively heavy menstrual periods
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Dull or aching pain in the abdomen or lower back
Uterine Polyp Identification and Removal
Many options exist for the detection and removal of uterine polyps. One method of uterine polyp detection is through transvaginal ultrasound. A small ultrasound device that emits sound waves is placed into the vagina, creating an image of the uterus and showing the presence and position of uterine polyp growths. Hysteroscopy can also be performed, which involves placing a small, thin camera into the uterus so that physicians can identify polyps.
Once uterine polyps are identified, it is usually recommended that symptomatic polyps are removed to treat uterine polyp symptoms and evaluate or diagnose any other cell tissue that concerns your doctor. The procedure for uterine polyp removal is relatively painless, with surgeons using a small, thin instrument along with a hysteroscope for removal.
Women’s Physicians of Jacksonville
It’s important to consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing painful and irregular periods, as these symptoms may be indicative of uterine polyps. At Women’s Physicians of Jacksonville, our focus is to provide all patients with comprehensive state of the art gynecologic and obstetrical care throughout every phase of life. As a division of North Florida Ob-Gyn, we specialize in delivering gynecological care in a warm and individualized environment to women across Northeast Florida. We encourage women to schedule regular visits with their doctor to discuss any medical concerns and receive regular pelvic exams as a part of preventive care. If you are experiencing uterine polyp symptoms and would like to learn more about treatment options, please contact us today.