Uterine (Endometrial) Polyps - Diagnosis & Treatment

How are uterine (endometrial) polyps diagnosed?

Your doctor may diagnose uterine polyps using one of the following tests:

  • Transvaginal ultrasound. It involves the insertion of a thin handheld device known as an ultrasound transducer into the vagina. The device produces sound waves and provides images of the inside of your uterus.
  • Sonohysterography. It involves administering fluid into the uterus through a catheter or a thin tube. This expands the uterus and helps to provide clear pictures of the uterus during a transvaginal ultrasound.
  • Hysteroscopy. It involves the insertion of a hysteroscope through your vagina and cervix into the uterus, and allows the doctor to see the inside of your uterus.
  • Endometrial biopsy. A suction catheter is used to collect a specimen of polyp tissue for lab testing to check for cancer cells.
  • Curettage. Using a curette (a long metal tool with a small hoop on one end), the doctor removes a tissue sample of a polyp and sends it for laboratory analysis.

Endometrial polyp size

While some studies suggest that uterine polyps larger than 1.5cm in diameter may have an increased risk of malignancy, there is inconclusive evidence to prove that all polyps measuring this size are cancerous.

How are endometrial polyps treated?

Depending on your condition, the doctor may recommend any of the following:

  • Vigilant waiting. If you have small polyps without symptoms, treatment may not be required. With time, small polyps may go away on their own. Nevertheless, you may need regular check-ups.
  • Medications. Your doctor may recommend some hormonal medications to regulate the hormonal balance and relieve symptoms. However, the symptoms may reappear after medications are stopped.
  • Surgery. Your doctor may surgically remove the polyps during the diagnostic procedure itself such as during a hysteroscopy or curettage. If you are past menopause or have a higher risk of uterine cancer, you doctor may decide to remove the polyps.

If cancer cells are found in your polyps, your doctor may recommend hysterectomy (surgical removal of the entire uterus) or other suitable treatment options.

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