Uterine polyps or endometrial polyps are growths that become attached to the walls or lining of the uterus. This condition can occur when cells become overgrown or when a woman does not have a regular menstrual cycle to facilitate the shedding of the uterine lining. Uterine polyps can vary in size, with the smallest being only a few millimeters wide. The growths mostly occur in women who are going through menopause but can also develop in younger women.
Doctors use a variety of tests to diagnose uterine and endometrial polyps. The first test is a transvaginal ultrasound. This is done vaginally using a wand-like device that emits sound waves to create a picture of the uterus. If the patient has any polyps, the ultrasound will detect them. Another form of this ultrasound uses salt water injected into the uterus to create a more transparent image. Hysteroscopy is another common test that involves inserting a tiny telescope through the vagina and cervix. Lastly, the doctor may choose to perform an endometrial biopsy, using a suction catheter to retrieve a small sample for testing.
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