Uterine polyps are benign growths of the normal tissue lining of the uterus (endometrium) into the uterine cavity. Therefore, they are also called endometrial polyps. Polyps may grow in the uterine cervix, too. Polyps are usually attached to the tissue by a base. There can be one or more polyps, which vary in size. Some polyps can be cancerous, although this is more rarely.
Uterine polyps are most common in women over 40 and post-menopausal women.
Uterine polyps may not produce any symptoms. However, if they are larger, the symptoms women may experience are:
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Irregular vaginal bleeding
- Bleeding between periods
The cause of uterine polyps is not exactly known. It is suggested that hormonal changes affect the development of those growths.
The risk factors for uterine polyps are:
- postmenopausal women
- breast cancer therapy drugs
Complications from uterine polyps can arise if they cause infertility. In this case, the polyps have to be surgically removed in order to become pregnant. Polyps may also cause miscarriage in case of in vitro fertilization.