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Uterine Polyps

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Uterine Polyps

Uterine polyps are non-cancerous growths that form in the womb. They range in size from a few millimetres — no larger than a sesame seed — to several centimetres — golf-ball-size or larger. They attach to the uterine wall by a large base or a thin stalk.

Diagram of what uterine polyps are

Uterine polyps are growths attached to the inner wall of the uterus that extend into the uterine cavity. Excessive growth of cells in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) leads to the formation of uterine polyps, also known as endometrial polyps. These polyps are usually noncancerous (benign). Although some can be cancerous or can eventually turn into cancer (precancerous polyps).

You can have one or many. They usually stay contained within your uterus, but occasionally, they slip down through the opening of the uterus (cervix) into your vagina. They are most common in women who are going through or have been through the menopause. It is however possible for younger women can get them, too.



Signs and symptoms of uterine polyps include:

  • Irregular menstrual bleeding — for example, having frequent, unpredictable periods of variable length and heaviness
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Excessively heavy menstrual periods
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Infertility

Some women have only light bleeding or spotting; others are symptom-free.

We recommend you contact us for more advice if you experience:

  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding


Hormonal factors appear to play a role. Uterine polyps are oestrogen-sensitive, meaning they grow in response to circulating oestrogen. It is also linked to:

Having high blood pressure (hypertension)

Being obese

Taking tamoxifen, a drug therapy for breast cancer


Uterine polyps might be associated with infertility. If you have uterine polyps and you’re unable to have children, removal of the polyps might allow you to become pregnant, but the data is inconclusive.

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