What is a Uterine Polyp?
A polyp in the uterus is an overgrowth of tissue that arises from the endometrium - the uterine lining. This tissue is expelled during the menstrual cycle. After a period, the endometrium regenerates rapidly under the influence of hormones. Polyps occur in areas where the lining grows in excess.
Uterine polyps are oval or round, they remain attached to the uterine wall by a large base or a thin stalk. Polyps usually occur in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women. Although polyps are usually contained within the uterus, they may occasionally arise on the surface of the cervical canal.
What is the Difference Between Uterine Polps vs. Fibroids?
The main difference between uterine polyps and uterine fibroids is that fibroids are composed of muscle tissue and polyps are made of endometrial tissue.
Polyps vs. Fibroids
|Composition and Texture||Polyps are made of endometrial tissue. They are malleable and stem from the inner lining of the uterus.||Uterine fibroids are made of hard muscle tissue. They usually grow within the thick muscular layer of the uterus.|
|Regression||Small polyps may regress at any stage.||Fibroids do not regress. Some fibroids may shrink, but only after menopause.|
|Size||Polyps are usually very small. They range in size from just a few millimeters to several centimeters.||Fibroids may range in size from just a few millimeters to the size of a watermelon.|
|Noninvasive Treatment Options||There are no noninvasive treatment options for polyps.||Some forms of fibroids may be treated with noninvasive MR guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery.|
Are Uterine Polyps Symptoms Different from Uterine Fibroid Symptoms?
Uterine polyps in the uterus are different than fibroids. Since uterine fibroids vary in size and texture from uterine polyps, the body reacts to them differently.
What are Uterine Polyps Symptoms?
Polyps symptoms include:
- Irregular menstrual bleeding that varies in duration and heaviness
- Spotting, or bleeding between menstrual periods
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
What are Uterine Fibroid Symptoms?
Uterine fibroid symptoms include:
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Very heavy and prolonged menstrual periods
- Enlarged abdomen which may be mistaken for pregnancy, or weight gain
- Pressure on the bladder causing a constant need to urinate, incontinence, or the inability to empty the bladder
- Pressure on the bowel which can lead to constipation and/or bloating
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain in the back of the legs
Polyp and Fibroid similarities
- Uterine polyps and fibroids may both affect the reproduction process similar to that of an intra-uterine contraceptive device.
- Both are hormone induced growths
- Most treatment methods for both polyps and fibroids are invasive
Learn more about uterine fibroid treatment solutions.