Ovarian Polyps - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

The ovarian polyp is a growth that occurs inside the uterus of the female. They usually occur in childbearing age. Seldom do they turn into a cancerous growth, but sometimes they can. When they grow in size, they cause pain and heavy menstrual bleeding, ranging from the size of a seedling to that of a large ball, and are attached to the uterus with a thin stalk or large base. 


Moreover, you may have a single polyp growth or more than one. When it increases in size causing weight gain and other symptoms, the healthcare providers may remove it surgically. For that, you will need to take anesthesia. However, mostly they do not cause any bothersome symptoms. Many women do not even know throughout their lifetimes about it. The doctors can get an insight about it during a prenatal ultrasound or pelvic exam. It may also cause heavy menstrual bleeding and hinders conception. Therefore, it may be removed surgically. 


Anatomy of the female internal reproductive organs


The female reproductive organs constitute the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and vagina.


The ovaries are responsible for producing an egg (ovum) every month and the uterus is responsible for bearing the fetus throughout the pregnancy. The fallopian tubes, also known as oviducts, connect the uterus with the ovaries giving a passage for the egg to come to the uterus. The uterus is connected to the vagina or birth canal-a muscular canal that is responsible for the reception of the penis during sexual intercourse and the provision of a passageway for the baby during childbirth. The vagina connects the uterus to the external reproductive organs.


Symptoms 


The signs and symptoms of ovarian polyps are;


  • Irregular menstrual bleeding — the frequency may vary, unpredictable periods of variable length and heaviness

  • Bleeding between menstrual periods

  • Excessively heavy menstrual periods

  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause

  • Infertility


Some women may not complain about symptoms despite the polyp growth, while some may complain about light spotting. They may vary from person to person. 


Causes


Polyps occur due to overgrowth of the endometrial tissue. They may occur due to altered hormonal levels. Uterine polyps are sensitive to the hormone estrogen, which means they grow in response to circulating estrogen. 


Risk factors 


Following factors may play a role in causing ovarian polyps;


  • Being obese

  • Taking tamoxifen- drug therapy for breast cancer

  • Being perimenopausal 

  • Being postmenopausal

  • Having high blood pressure-hypertension


Complications 


Uterine polyps generally do not harm, but they can interfere with conception, making it difficult for you to conceive. Moreover, you should keep them monitored as they may become cancerous at any stage. Therefore, you must keep an eye on their growth pattern. 


Treatment 


There is no such treatment for uterine polyps. It is only done if they tend to cause bothersome symptoms. Otherwise, waitful watching is done. The treatment options for fibroids may include;


Medications like;

  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists

  • Progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD)

  • Tranexamic acid


Sometimes, the healthcare provider may also advise getting a hysterectomy done. 


Conclusion 


An ovarian polyp is a growth that occurs inside the uterus of the female. They usually occur in childbearing age. Seldom do they turn into a cancerous growth, but sometimes they can. When they grow in size they cause pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. They range from the size of a seedling to that of a large ball and are attached to the uterus with a thin stalk or large base. Ovarian polyps generally do not cause bothersome symptoms, but they may hinder conception.


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