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Is there a link between polyps, breakthrough bleeding and getting pregnant?

ann arbor fertilityThe short answer is that we think pregnancy rates are improved when polyps that are found are removed. If a woman is planning to become pregnant, and we find a polyp as part of a fertility evaluation, we will remove it.

Polyps are on the list of things that can cause breakthrough bleeding during a woman’s cycle. Some other causes of breakthrough bleeding are fibroids and not ovulating regularly or well.

Uterine fibroids and polyps are both growths of benign uterine tissue, and when they affect the uterine cavity, they can cause similar symptoms. Polyps grow from endometrial tissue, the tissue that lines the uterus, and fibroids are made up of uterine muscle tissue.

For some women, birth control pills are the best solution for regulating cycles, but obviously that is not an option for the women seeking fertility treatment at the University of Michigan Center for Reproductive Medicine.

If you have questions about changes in your bleeding pattern, it is good to start by talking to your general gynecologist. They should be able to help you decide if further workup is needed if you’re trying to get pregnant.

Here is some more information about polyps:

  • A special transvaginal ultrasound called a saline-infusion sonogram or hysterosonogram is one way to find polyps. They can also be seen with a hysteroscopy.  It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a polyp and a small fibroid until it is removed.
  • Polyps are slow growing.  Once one has been removed, we wouldn’t expect to see another one for over a year.
  • There is no known benefit to undergoing IVF just because a polyp is found.

Keep in mind that there can be other causes behind breakthrough bleeding, such as problems with the cervix or vagina and are not related to fertility. If you stop taking birth control pills and don’t resume normal periods, talk to your gynecologist.

To make an appointment at the University of Michigan Center for Reproductive Medicine, call (734) 763-4323.

michael lanham fertilityMichael Lanham, MD, received his Medical degree from the University of Michigan.  He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, also at the University of Michigan.  His research interests include interpretation of ovarian reserve measures, fertility preservation, effective implementation of electronic medical records and improvements in clinical efficiency.

fertility ann arborThe University of Michigan Center for Reproductive Medicine brings the expertise of infertility specialists and research scientists together to give each of our clients access to the latest fertility therapies and technologies available through one convenient center.  We offer a full spectrum of assisted reproductive technology options, including IVF, fertility preservation, intrauterine insemination, donor insemination, and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.

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