Polyps are non-cancerous growths in your uterus. They occur naturally, like skin tags, and are harmless to your health. Sometimes they even fall away all by themselves, and come out during your period. But if a polyp is big or blocking an important part of your uterus, it could block an embryo from implanting successfully. Because polyps are a little irritating to your uterus, they can also cause spotting between your periods.

How it’s tested

To confirm the size and location of a polyp, we use either a sonohystogram or hysteroscopy. Sonohystograms are done by ultrasound, while hysteroscopies can be a minor office procedure. HSG, the x-ray version of uterine imaging, can pick up very large polyps, but is usually less accurate than the other two options.

How it’s treated

First, not all polyps need to be treated. Embryos usually implant at the “fundus”, the top of your uterus. If you have a little polyp that’s nowhere near there, it may not affect implantation at all. You may experience some spotting, but it could be worth leaving it alone.

We treat a polyp when:

  • it is near or at the fundus, the top of your uterus
  • it is blocking one of the cornua (the openings to your fallopian tubes)
  • it is so big that it’ll block the embryo’s path no matter where it is

When you and your doctor feel it’s time, you’ll be booked for a hysteroscopic polypectomy – which just means we’ll remove the polyp in surgery. A hysteroscope (a skinny tube with a tiny camera attached) is sent up your vagina and into your cervix. Some gas or fluid is injected, allowing the surgeon to see and grasp the polyp. Once your polyp is removed, you can start to get pregnant again immediately!

That might sound scary, but it’s typically a minor, uncomplicated day procedure that’s easy and fast to book. In some parts of Canada, it’s covered by provincial health insurance, which could lead to delays – talk to your doctor to learn more.

However, there are always risks with uterine surgeries. Multiple procedures can thin out your uterine lining, which makes it less friendly and nourishing for an egg trying to implant. That said, polypectomies are still generally considered much less risky than any other surgical procedure.

It’s also possible for polyps to return after the surgery. There may be a connection between chronic polyps and endometriosis, so if you’ve had a polypectomy but the polyp came back, and your health, eggs, and sperm are all otherwise sound, it might be worth looking into.


Know a useful resource on this topic? Send us your suggestion!