Fibroids & Polyps
Fibroid and polyps are growths made up of muscle and fibrous tissue in the uterus which are usually not cancerous and often cause problems with bleeding, difficulties falling pregnant or recurrent miscarriages. Fibroids and polyps are diagnosed on examination, ultrasound and hysteroscopy. If they need to be treated they are usually removed surgically but there are non-surgical treatments too.
Although we are using fibroids and polyps together, there is a difference, and that lies in their origins. Fibroids are tumours of uterine muscle tissue, while polyps are tumours of the uterine lining. It is always a worry when we hear a word tumour from our doctor but when it’s a fibroid or polyps tumour, experts assure there is little to fear.
Uterine fibroids are masses of tissue that can vary in number and size, from one growth to many, ranging from very small to large, and are often seen in women between their 30s and 40s. A family history of fibroids can be a cause but it is not always passed on. Overall these tumours are quite common and are seen in about 70% of all women by the time they reach 50.
Polyps are small growths which look similar to a skin tag and are found on the uterine lining. They are generally seen in women who have had children and can be rather common. While there is no definitive cause, they are usually brought on by hormone levels and develop in response to oestrogen circulating in the blood. Although they are rarely cancerous, they should be looked at by your gynaecologist.