Menopause brings about many changes in a woman’s life. While most changes involve the psychological impact of menopause, there are many women who develop long term health complications.
A key health aspect of concern, in both menopausal and post-menopausal women, is the risk for developing malignant endometrial polyps. While women of all ages are at risk for endometrial polyps, it has been found that menopausal women and post-menopausal women may be at a slightly greater risk.
In man gynecologist’s offices, the woman who presents with complications associated with abnormal bleeding, around menopause age, is usually tested for the presence of endometrial polyps. In many cases, the endometrial polyps can be seen on transvaginal sonogram. Once confirmed, surgery, known as polypectomy, is done using a hysteroscopy procedure.
What makes a menopausal or post-menopausal woman more susceptible to the development of malignant endometrial polyps? Many factors are involved. For women who suffer from diabetes, women with late-onset of menopause, women with high body mass index (BMI) and women with hypertension and those who use hormone replacement therapy (HRT), there is a greater risk.
For many women, the development of polyps do not pose any health complications. Often, polyps are present without symptoms. However, if the endometrial polyps are pre-malignant, or malignant, there is a three fold chance symptoms will be persistent especially in menopausal or post-menopausal women.
The practice by many gynecologists, to remove any sign of polyps, is becoming increasingly more common in older women. Even when no symptoms are present, women are choosing to remove the polyps, obtain histology, and confirm the absence of any malignancy risk. While it is possible to avoid removal of the polyps, when no symptoms are present, is also acceptable. With risks associated with polypectomy, a woman may choose to avoid surgical intervention but still require aggressive management and treatment of endometrial polyps.
As with any complication involving gynecological conditions following menopause, it is important to seek medical attention early. In the case of symptomatic endometrial polyps, the risk for malignancy is quite common, especially in post menopausal women. With hormone replacement therapy, diabetes, obesity and hypertension, these same women may also be at increased risk, even when polyps are asymptomatic. As a result, you may need to discuss surgical intervention with your gynecologist if you fall into any risk factor. When no risk factors are present, management of endometrial polyps can be achieved with regular and frequent gynecological examinations.