If your doctor suspects you have uterine polyps, he or she might perform one of the following:
Transvaginal ultrasound. A slender, wand-like device placed in your vagina emits sound waves and creates an image of your uterus, including its interior. Your doctor may see a polyp that's clearly present or may identify a uterine polyp as an area of thickened endometrial tissue.
A related procedure, known as hysterosonography (his-tur-o-suh-NOG-ruh-fee) — also called sonohysterography (son-oh-his-tur-OG-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 during the ultrasound.
- 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.
- Endometrial biopsy. Your doctor might use a suction catheter inside the uterus to collect a specimen for lab testing. Uterine polyps may be confirmed by an endometrial biopsy, but the biopsy could also miss the polyp.
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 will likely recommend removal of the polyp and will send a tissue sample for lab analysis to be certain you don't have uterine cancer.
Aug. 29, 2015
- Stewart EA. Endometrial polyps. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 10, 2015.
- Cooper NAM, et al. Outpatient versus inpatient uterine polyp treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding: Randomised controlled non-inferiority study. British Medical Journal. 2015;350:h1398.
- 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.