Uterine Polyps are a Hidden Barrier to Pregnancy
What are Uterine Polyps?
One of the causes of female infertility that we see at Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates cannot be prevented, but can be easily treated. Uterine polyps are growths that occur in the inner lining of the uterus or the endometrium (so they are sometimes referred to as endometrial polyps). These growths may be different shapes—oval or round—and different sizes—anywhere from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. Uterine polyps are usually benign (noncancerous), but some polyps may be cancerous or precancerous.
Who Gets Uterine Polyps?
Most of the time, women who develop uterine polyps are between 40 and 50 years old, but they can occur in younger women (they are very rare in women who are younger than 20). Women who are overweight or obese, have high blood pressure or are taking tamoxifen (a drug used to treat breast cancer) have a higher risk of developing uterine polyps.
What Are the Symptoms of Uterine Polyps?
Some women have uterine polyps with no symptoms, and the polyps are not discovered until they undergo testing for infertility. If you do experience the following symptoms, see your doctor to check for uterine polyps:
- Irregular menstrual bleeding (frequent or unpredictable periods)
- Unusually heavy bleeding during menstrual periods
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding after menopause
How Do Uterine Polyps Contribute to Infertility?
While we are not certain why uterine polyps contribute to infertility, studies have found evidence that removing the polyps does increase the chance of conception. One study showed that removing uterine polyps raised the pregnancy rate to 63% after IUI (intrauterine insemination or artificial insemination), as opposed to only a 28% pregnancy rate for those who did not have the polyps removed.