Cervical or Endometrial Polyps
Cervical and endometrial (sometimes called uterine) polyps are growths that develop in the female reproductive organs; more specifically, the cervix and the endometrium. These polyps are formed by the overgrowth of endometrial tissue or from the epithelial cells of the cervix and may be either round or oval with great variations in size. Both cervical and endometrial polyps are usually benign, although it is important to discuss any symptoms with a medical professional, which is the best way to ensure the condition does not progress.
What Are the Causes of Cervical and Endometrial Polyps?
The causes of cervical and endometrial polyps are difficult to pinpoint, but changes in hormone levels, especially estrogen, may lead to their development.
Women may be at a higher risk for developing these polyps if they are:
- Between 40 and 50 years old
- Have gone through menopause
- Are overweight or obese
- Are taking tamoxifen
- Have high blood pressure or hypertension
Symptoms of Cervical or Endometrial Polyps
The most common sign of cervical or endometrial polyps is irregular menstrual periods.
Additional symptoms may include:
- An unusually heavy menstrual flow
- Bleeding and/or spotting between menstrual periods or after menopause
- Infertility or an inability to carry a pregnancy to term
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse
Diagnosing Cervical or EndometrialPolyps
A healthcare provider can assess your symptoms and conduct any necessary testing. After discussing your menstrual history and symptoms, your doctor will conduct a gynecological exam and may recommend additional tests, such as a transvaginal ultrasound, endometrial biopsy or hysteroscopy.
Treating Cervical and Endometrial Polyps
Asymptomatic cervical and endometrial polyps may not require treatment, but if painful or problematic symptoms occur, then the polyp may have to be removed. In cases where a polyp is affecting fertility or menstruation, is suspected to be precancerous or cancerous or is discovered after menopause, possible treatments may include:
- Medications to help regulate hormone levels
- Hysteroscopy (also used in diagnosing polyps)
- Curettage for smaller polyps
- Additional procedures, including a hysterectomy, if necessary
If you suspect that you have a cervical or endometrial polyp, a doctor can assess your condition and recommend treatment if necessary. The gynecologic healthcare professionals at Tampa General Hospital’s Women’s Institute have the tools and expertise to diagnose and treat cervical and endometrial polyps.