Endometrial Polyp with Dr. Shi Armero

Endometrial Polyps Fertility and Pregnancy

According to a statistical report, endometrial polyps are very common as up to 3 in 10 women may have them at some point in their lives, but fewer than 1 in 100 people develop polyps before age 30. Today, we will discuss the 7th live class about endometrial polyp held virtually with Blue Bee One’s medical advisor, Doctor Shi Armero.

The Definition of Endometrial Polyp

 What is an endometrial polyp? Dr. Shi explained that endometrial polyp is a new growth that occurs in the inner lining or we call it the endometrium. It is attached to the endometrium either with a thin stalk or it can be just a broad or just a broad base that extends inwardly towards the uterus, these are often usually non-cancer. 

Doc, is this cancerous, or does this lead to cancer?

These are usually non-cancerous but may cause problems with menstruation or infertility. Especially those who had difficulty conceiving.

She added that a woman may have a polyp but she does not develop symptoms. It is possible that she does not feel anything almost all the time. It can’t occur to any woman of all ages but it is common among women ages 40 to 49 years old, or those women who are at the pre-menopausal age.

Symptoms, Causes, and Potential Indicators of Endometrial Polyp

Dr. Shi described the common symptoms of endometrial polyp in the next slide. It can be a heavy flow during her days of menstruation, or it can be spotting or bleeding in between periods. It is usually called intermenstrual one week without menstruation when a woman experiences spotting and then no more menstruation and then her usual menstruation comes.

Below are the major symptoms of this condition:

  • Heavy flow during menstruation
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods

This condition is very common among infertile women as there are many cases where they have been diagnosed with an endometrial polyp. Also, it is uncommon for women who have endometrial polyp to have cancer in their endometrium because it mostly occurs among the older population and it happens around 0 to 12.9% and again, it depends on the population being studied. Mostly, women who are at a menopausal or pre-menopausal age are affected by this condition.

Doc, what should be the things that I might be having that could be the risk of developing the polyp? 

Among all these, age is the best-documented risk indicator of the endometrial polyp. So, if a woman is increasing in age around 40-49 years old, that can be a risk factor.

Here are the common causes and potential indicators of endometrial polyp:

  • Pre-menopausal or menopausal age (around 40-49 years old, and above 50)
  • Hypertension – If you are hypertensive, most likely the estrogen component in your body is quite higher than the progesterone or the sister hormone that should counteract estrogen.
  • Obesity – Women who are obese and those who love to eat large portions of meat and dairy products or have high cholesterol in their blood. 
  • Anovulation – If a woman has not had her regular menstruation for quite a while or she misses 2 or 3 months without any menstruation, she has a condition called anovulation.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – Women who have imbalance of the hormones as they can potentially develop into an endometrial polyp.
  • Dysmenorrhea – It can also occur with it specially when the polyp is prolapsed. When it lengthens and prolapses and every time a woman menstruates, it’s really painful because the uterus acts as if it is not part of the system and has to expel it. In the efforts of the uterus trying to expel the prolapsing endometrial polyp, the woman experiences dysmenorrhea.
  • Elevated estrogen levels – High estrogen levels may cause weight gain, heavy or light periods, fibroids in the uterus, fibrocystic lumps in the breast, and others

Dr. Shi explained that those women of reproductive age are asymptomatic because endometrial polyp is usually found when a woman has infertility issues. Those at the reproductive age should wait until she is 35 or less than 35 years old to see medical consultation if they don’t get pregnant. 

Asymptomatic polyps are most likely present in 3-5% of infertile women and up to 10 to 32%. These polyps at 44.4% in women of reproductive age are asymptomatic. While 10-30% of infertile women have endometrial polyps. Take note again that among women in menopause who already have polyps, the risk of malignancy ranges from 0-12.9%.

It is important to make sure that our elderly ones, the mommies or grandmas who already have menopause, there is a possibility that they may have this condition as estrogen in the form of estrone can still be produced in the fat that is accumulating during their aging and may sill stimulate the growth in the endometrium.

Small polyps are most likely to regress compared to the larger ones. Surgical removal is recommended to allow natural conception or assisted reproductive technology giving it a greater opportunity for success. In women with an endometrial polyp, there are patterns of abnormal uterine heating. You should remember that endometrial polyps are influenced by increased estrogen level activity. 

Among these women, women with very high cholesterol in the blood or women with a quite heavy body mass index are mostly affected. The most significant risk factor for the presence of endometrial polyps is age. Again it’s very common among ages 40-49 years old however again it can occur among reproductive age especially if they have problems in their estrogen level and activity, especially among those with hormonal imbalance because it’s a common condition among or close age group dyslipidemia. Additionally, IGT or  Impaired Glucose Tolerance is commonly associated condition with endometrial polyps 

Ways to Prevent Endometrial Polyps

What are the ways for menopausal and pre-menopausal women to prevent having endometrial polyps? It is essential to eliminate the excess estrogen production and activities, weight loss, proper diet, and exercise. Dr. Shi suggested some ways for women to prevent this condition. Here are some of them:

  • If you want to lose weight, your weight loss target should be 10% of your current weight and lose it in the next 6 months.
  • Maintain a proper diet by avoiding high meat or animal consumption. You may transition to eating chicken 3 times a day or pork 3 times a day. Then, continue with once a day and then after once a day, make it every other day in the succeeding weeks or eat meat only during weekends like Saturday and Sunday.
  • Take 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day or a 75-minute high-intensity workout per week. For example, if you want to do 150 minutes per week, you can do 5 times a week, 30 minutes from Monday until Friday.
  • Eat nutritious and antioxidant-rich foods loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Below is a list of top foods high in antioxidants according to the American Dietetic Association:

  • Fruits – cranberries, red grapes, raspberries, strawberries, red currants, cherries, figs, guava, apricots, etc.
  • Dried fruits – dried plums, dried dates, and raisins.
  • Vegetables – broccoli, spinach, carrots, artichokes, cabbage, asparagus, beetroot, lettuce, radish, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, and kale.
  • Spices and herbs – cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil, curry powder, ginger, pepper, paprika, chili powder, coriander, garlic, onion, and cardamom.
  • Nuts – Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and pistachio nuts.
  • Beverages – apple juice, tomato juice, pomegranate juice, green tea, black tea, and coffee (in moderation and without milk)

CONCLUSION

Endometrial polyp is a condition when there occurs a new growth in the inner lining of the uterus or in the endometrium. the major symptoms of this condition are heavy flow during menstruation and/or spotting or bleeding between periods. The common causes and potential indicators of endometrial polyp are pre-menopausal or menopausal age, hypertension, obesity, anovulation, dysmenorrhea, and elevated estrogen levels. To prevent you from having endometrial polyps, it is important to maintain your normal BMI or body mass index through weight loss, maintain a proper diet by avoiding high meat consumption, take 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 minutes of high-intensity workout per week, and eat nutritious and antioxidant-rich foods.

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