You’ve found out you have uterine polyps and you’ve decided to have them removed.
Is there risk of recurrence? For instance, if you have a history of polyps or you are in one of the risk categories, how quickly can uterine polyps grow back?
Removing Uterine Polyps
A tissue known as endometrium is the lining that covers the inside of your uterus. When the endometrium forms an overgrowth of cells, it creates a tumor or finger-like projection called an endometrial polyp, or uterine polyp. These polyps are most often non-cancerous but they can occasionally contain either cancerous or precancerous cells.1
The risk of cancerous cells is greater in postmenopausal women—approximately 5.4%—than it is in premenopausal women—which is approximately 1.7%.1
Uterine polyps may also create problems with your periods or cause issues with fertility if they’re left untreated. Side effects vary depending on the size and number, since polyps may be round or oval; they can range from the size of a sesame seed to the size of a golf ball or larger; and, you may have one or several polyps present.2 So the treatment plan varies, too.
A common method of removal is by a procedure known as a hysteroscopic polypectomy. This is a minimally invasive procedure that removes growths within the uterine through the vagina.3
How Quickly Can Uterine Polyps Grow Back
If you have undergone the procedure to have polyps removed, you are likely wondering if they can grow back. The short answer is yes. Some estimates put the number at about 10-15% of cases.1
That can also vary.
For instance, one study examined 168 premenopausal women who suffered from endometrial polyps and underwent hysteroscopic polypectomy. In this particular case, 43% of the women had a recurrence of polyps after the procedure. Analysis revealed that a higher number of endometrial polyps and a longer duration before follow-up were significantly associated with an increased risk of recurrence.4
That doesn’t mean you will have a recurrence. There are factors that could influence the regrowth of uterine polyps:
1. Complete removal of the polyps: It makes sense that if a polyp is not completely removed, residual tissue left behind could lead to re-growth.5
2. Hormonal imbalance and its impact: It’s not certain what causes polyps, but an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone may contribute to the development and regrowth of uterine polyps.5
3. Age and menopausal status: The incidence of uterine polyps tends to increase with age, particularly in women who have reached perimenopause or menopause.5
A woman’s risk of developing uterine polyps seems to increase among those who are overweight or obese, with a BMI over 25. Other risk factors include having high blood pressure, taking tamoxifen (a drug used to treat breast cancer), and receiving hormone replacement therapy that involves a high dosage of estrogen.2
It’s important to discuss your risk factors with your doctor before and after undergoing your procedure. For instance, you might receive advice on foods to avoid that could contribute to polyp growth, or foods that could prevent polyp growth.
Seek Medical Advice
If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine polyps and have decided to undergo a procedure to remove them, discuss the treatment plan with your doctor. Use our Physician Finder to find a doctor near you with expertise in women’s health, who can review your history of uterine polyps and provide a treatment plan. Regular monitoring and follow-up care are key factors in detecting and managing any potential regrowth of uterine polyps.5