Endometrial Hyperplasia


Did You Get a Diagnosis of Endometrial Hyperplasia?

The diagnosis you receive from your doctor may be confusing. Doctors try to speak in everyday language, but clinical terms invariably come up. The woman who just received a diagnosis of endometrial hyperplasia almost always leaves the doctor's office with unanswered questions. In order to put together a plan for dealing with this health issue, patients need to know what they are up against.

What is Endometrial Hyperplasia?

Hyperplasia is defined as an abnormal increase in the amount of otherwise normal cells. It is associated with being a precancerous condition. Not every hyperplasia diagnosis leads to cancer, but hyperplasia of endometrial tissue may lead to uterine cancer. This is why early diagnosis is so important. Increased number of cells in the uterus may be a cause from concern.

Causes

Estrogen without sufficient progesterone is the cause of uterine cancer. Ovulation increases progesterone. At issue in many cases is the increase in obesity rates. In women, excess fat is a producer of excess estrogen. Some oncologists indicate that it is not a matter of 'if,' but 'when' hyperplasia will occur when obesity is a key factor.

Risk Factors

Obesity, smoking, family history, polycystic ovary disease, diabetes, and never having become pregnant are associated risk factors. Also factors such as being over 35 and Caucasian are associated with higher incidents of endometrial hyperplasia. Still, the underlying causative factor is too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. Risk factors are associated with increasing the likelihood of the cause reaching a degree where it becomes a problem.

Symptoms

Heavy and prolonged bleeding during menstruation is the number one complaint that usually prompts a visit to the doctor. Menstrual cycles that initiate bleeding before the 21-day cycle has passed is another symptom. Any abnormal bleeding, such as bleeding after menopause, should be checked out.

Treatment Options

There are four different kinds of endometrial hyperplasia. The first two are simple and complex hyperplasia. The other two are simple and complex atypical hyperplasia. The gold standard treatment still recommended for any atypical hyperplasia is a hysterectomy. However, every woman needs to have a discussion with an experienced oncologist because some cases of simple endometrial hyperplasia are treated with nothing more than a vaginal cream. Often, an oral or injected progesterone is used as treatment.

Depending on the actual diagnosis and the desires of the patient, a viable treatment plan can be worked out that holds an excellent prognosis. Still, there exists the need to do something about the excess estrogen that caused the condition. For some, it may be the need to reach a healthy weight.