The Unexpected Cause Of Infertility
Infertility continues to be a stressful reality for women. Over 12% of women have infertility. There are several causes for infertility ranging from physical to hormonal. Uterine polyps are one such condition that could be stopping pregnancy. About 24% of women have uterine polyps.
Understanding uterine polyps
Uterine polyps are like any polyp found in the body. These are fleshy growths that form within the walls of the uterus. These growths are usually non-cancerous. However, there are some cases where cancer can develop. An OB/GYN usually uncovers polyps on an ultrasound or pap smear. In some cases, the doctor will opt for a hysteroscopy. This is a minimally invasive procedure to detect polyps.
Are you at risk of developing polyps?
Polyps are overgrowths of the mucous membrane. These growths vary in size. Women can develop polyps at any age. However, statistics show women over 40 have the highest risk. Uterine polyps have been linked to fluctuating estrogen levels caused by issues like obesity and blood pressure. Menopausal women are also more likely to develop polyps. While most polyps are harmless, there are some links between the condition and infertility.
A bump in the fertility road
While the reason is unclear, researchers have found a connection between polyps and infertility. The location of the polyps could be preventing the embryo from implanting in the uterus. These growths can block the cervical canal and even prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg. When doctors decide to remove the polyps, there is an increase in the success rate of natural pregnancy. There is also a 35% increase in the success of assisted reproductive technology like IVF.
Clearing things up with a polypectomy
Doctors can remove uterine polyps with a polypectomy. This is a minimally invasive procedure to remove polyps in areas like the colon, nose, stomach, and uterus. Uterine polypectomies start with the patient under local or general anesthesia. Then the doctor inserts a high-powered scope through the vagina to get to the uterus. From there, the doctor will opt to use one of several methods to remove the polyps. A snare-like tool cuts off the polyp. In some cases, the doctor removes the polyps with forceps. Polypectomies are generally painless outpatient procedures with high success rates.
What to expect during the process
Women undergoing a uterine polypectomy should follow the doctor’s instructions at all times. This includes stopping some medications and ceasing smoking and alcohol consumption before surgery. After surgery, expect some mild vaginal bleeding and cramping. Listen to the doctor’s instructions carefully which may include refraining from lifting, exercising, or sexual intercourse. At some point, the doctor sends the polyps for cancer tests. Recovery typically takes up to 2 weeks.
Get checked for polyps today
For women struggling with infertility, especially unexplained infertility, seek advice from a doctor. One of the many tests the doctor will perform includes a check for uterine polyps. If polyps are detected, the doctor may recommend a polypectomy. Rest assured, the procedure is painless and may improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.