A polyp is a growth of the lining of the uterus (the endometrium). It can bleed irregularly or make your periods heavy.
Ultrasound & polyps
An ultrasound scan uses echoes from a transducer (probe) to create an ultrasound picture. By using many echo pulses many times a second and processing the information through a powerful computer we can produce a real time image of internal organs. With ultrasound the nearer you are to the object you want to examine, the better the quality of the picture that can be obtained. By using a transvaginal probe we can visualise the uterus and ovaries in great detail.
Above: Ultrasound image of a normal uterus, with pointers to myometrium and endometrium. This allows us to diagnose problems in early pregnancy, including the investigation of threatened miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
A polyp can be easily removed by performing a hysteroscopy (see hysteroscopy), which allows us to see inside the uterus. The cavity and lining of the uterus may also be disturbed by the presence of fibroids. It is important to know both the size and location of fibroids when contemplating removal of these tumours. A small sub mucous fibroid (in the middle of the womb, distorting the lining) can be removed with an operative hysteroscopy.
Above: Ultrasound image of increased endometrial thickness.