The management of polyps in female reproductive organs

Vasilios Tanos, Kelsey Elizabeth Berry, Jaana Seikkula, Elissa Abi Raad, Andreas Stavroulis, Zaki Sleiman, Rudi Campo, Stephan Gordts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Polyps of the lower reproductive tract are found in 7.8–50% of women. It has been hypothesized that cytogenetic modifications on chromosomes 6, 7 and 12 as well as epigenetic factors involving enzyme and metabolic activities may cause polyps to develop. Cervical polyps found in 2–5% of cases are of low clinical significance and can cause, although rarely, post coital bleedings. Cervical polyps grow during pregnancy and mucorrhoea. Trans vaginal ultrasound (TVU) provides an excellent diagnostic technique to diagnose the size and the anatomic location of endometrial polyps (EPs). In asymptomatic young woman with small EPs <10 mm in size, conservative management can be safely followed by monitoring the polyp growth. EPs located at the fundal and tubocornual regions mechanically affect fertility and disturb normal cellular function due to chronic inflammation. In cases where Eps are a cause of subfertility mechanical hysteroscopic resection is advisable. When the sole reason for infertility is an EP, the patient often becomes spontaneously pregnant shortly after removal. EP Detection in either peri- or post-menopausal age, in symptomatic or asymptomatic patients calls for meticulous hysteroscopic examination and polypectomy is mandatory. Endometrial curettage is also recommended to rule out sub clinical endometrial hyperplasia or cancer. Hysteroscopic surgery for large EPs using bipolar resectoscopes, hysteroscopic morcellators or shavers are considered equally efficient and safe under general anaesthesia. Recurrence rate of EPs after resection is unknown. The recent advances in TVU and hysteroscopy, however, should provide an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of polyp in the female reproductive tract with minimal recurrence or surgery complications. The significantly increased incidence of colorectal polyps in cohorts that also had EPs might indicate that patients with EPs should be also referred for colonoscopy. EPs have the lowest incidence of malignant transformation as compared to colon, urinary bladder, oropharyngeal, nasal and laryngeal carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Aetiology
  • Diagnosis
  • Endometrial polyps
  • Epidemiology
  • Management


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