Endometrial hyperplasia is a condition characterised by an abnormal thickening of the uterus lining (endometrium). This thickening is often caused by an imbalance of hormones, specifically an excess of oestrogen without enough progesterone. Early detection and appropriate treatment are crucial in managing endometrial hyperplasia and preventing complications like endometrial cancer.
Several factors may increase the risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- Tamoxifen use
- Family history of ovarian or uterine cancer
- Not having children (nulliparity)
Understanding these risk factors can help identify women who may be more susceptible to endometrial hyperplasia.
Some women with endometrial hyperplasia may not experience any symptoms. However, common symptoms include:
- Abnormal uterine bleeding (heavy, prolonged, or irregular periods)
- Spotting between periods
- Postmenopausal bleeding
- Pelvic pain or pressure
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation.
Diagnosis of endometrial hyperplasia typically involves a combination of the following:
- Medical history and physical examination
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Endometrial biopsy or hysteroscopy
These diagnostic procedures enable healthcare providers to examine the endometrial tissue and determine the presence of abnormal cell growth.
Classification of Endometrial Hyperplasia
Endometrial hyperplasia can be classified as:
- Simple or complex
- With or without atypia (abnormal cell changes)
The presence of atypia increases the risk of developing endometrial cancer. Therefore, it is crucial to determine the type for appropriate treatment planning.
Treatment Options for endometrial hyperplasia
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition, the presence of atypia, and the patient’s overall health. Common treatment options include:
- Progestin therapy (oral, intrauterine, or injectable) to balance hormones and promote normal endometrial growth.
- Hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), such as the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system, which can help regulate hormone levels and reduce abnormal growth
- Monitoring with regular ultrasounds and biopsies to track the progression of the condition
- Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) in severe cases or when cancer is suspected
To help reduce the risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia, consider the following strategies:
- Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
- Manage conditions like PCOS with the help of your healthcare provider.
- Use hormone therapies, such as HRT, carefully and under medical supervision.
Follow-up Care and Monitoring
Regular follow-up care is essential even after treatment. This may include periodic endometrial biopsies or ultrasounds to ensure the endometrium has returned to normal and detect any recurrence early.
Impact on Fertility and Reproductive Health
Endometrial hyperplasia can affect fertility and increase the risk of miscarriage in women who do conceive. It is vital to tailor treatment to individual patient needs, considering factors such as age, fertility desires, and cancer risk.
Awareness and early intervention are critical in managing this condition. If you experience any symptoms associated with this condition, seek medical help promptly. With appropriate treatment and regular monitoring, many women can successfully overcome the risk of malignancy and hyperplasia and maintain their reproductive health.
At Sugabi Clinic, we are committed to providing individualised care and support for women experiencing endometrial hyperplasia. Our team of expert healthcare providers will work closely with you to develop a personalised treatment plan that meets your unique needs and optimises your health outcomes.