Benign Uterine Growths (Growths of the Womb)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Quick GuideWomen's Health Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Uterine Fibroids

Women's Health Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Uterine Fibroids

How is adenomyosis diagnosed?

The true diagnosis of adenomyosis is only possible with actual microscopic examination of uterine tissue. This means that it is ultimately diagnosed after hysterectomy. Sometimes the results of a physical examination and/or ultrasound examination may suggest the presence of adenomyosis.

How is adenomyosis treated?

Pain medications are used to relieve the cramping pain of adenomyosis. Currently, the only effective treatment for adenomyosis is a hysterectomy, meaning removal of the uterus. This requires a recovery period and carries the risk of surgery and anesthesia, as described previously. The decision as to whether or not to have a hysterectomy depends on the severity of the symptoms and the overall health of the patient. Controlling the menstrual cycle through hormonal contraception (the pill) or use of other hormones may provide some symptom relief.

What are uterine polyps?

Polyps of the uterus are benign overgrowths, or bulges, of the normal tissue lining the uterus into the uterine cavity. Polyps may also be found in the uterine cervix. Polyps are usually attached to the underlying tissue by a base or stalk, and they vary in size. Polyps only rarely contain cancerous cells. They are most common in women in their 40's and are rare in women under 20 years of age.

What are the symptoms of uterine polyps and what do they look like?

Uterine polyps may not produce any symptoms. However, some women may experience:

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding

Picture of Uterine Polyps
Picture of Uterine Polyps

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/2/2015
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