If your doctor suspects that you have uterine polyps, he or she might perform one of the following tests or procedures:
- Transvaginal ultrasound. A slender, wand-like device placed in your vagina sends out sound waves and creates an image of your uterus, including its interior. A related procedure, known as hysterosonography (his-tur-o-suh-NOG-ruh-fee), involves having salt water (saline) injected into your uterus through a small tube threaded through your vagina and cervix. The saline expands your uterine cavity, which gives the doctor a clearer view of the inside of your uterus.
- Hysteroscopy. Doctors may perform a procedure called hysteroscopy to diagnose and treat uterine polyps. In a hysteroscopy, your doctor inserts a thin, flexible, lighted telescope (hysteroscope) through your vagina and cervix into your uterus. Hysteroscopy allows your doctor to examine the inside of your uterus and remove any polyps that are found. This eliminates the need for a follow-up procedure.
- Curettage. During curettage, your doctor uses a long metal instrument with a loop on the end to scrape the inside walls of your uterus. This may be done to collect a specimen for lab testing or to remove a polyp. Your doctor may perform curettage with the assistance of a hysteroscope, which lets your doctor view the inside of your uterus before and after the procedure.
Most uterine polyps are noncancerous (benign). However, some precancerous changes of the uterus (endometrial hyperplasia) or uterine cancers (endometrial carcinomas) appear as uterine polyps. Your doctor may send a tissue sample for lab analysis to be certain you don't have uterine cancer.
Sep. 25, 2012
- Kumar V, et al. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0792-2..X5001-9--f1&isbn=978-1-4377-0792-2&uniqId=351887616-2. Accessed Aug. 14, 2012.
- Stewart EA. Endometrial polyps. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 14, 2012.
- Lee JH, et al. Postmenopausal endometrial bleeding. Ultrasound Clinics. 2012;7:123.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-323-06986-1&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-06986-1..C2009-0-48752-X--TOP. Accessed Aug. 15, 2012.
- Salim S, et al. Diagnosis and management of endometrial polyps: A critical review of the literature. The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. 2011;18:569.
- Pundir J, et al. Uterine cavity assessment prior to IVF. Women's Health. 2010;6:841.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 27, 2012.